Jury finds Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer major factor in California man’s cancer

Weed killer Roundup

DeWayne Johnson had earlier been awarded $289 million in his case.

A USA jury has found that one of the world's most widely-used weedkillers was a "substantial factor" in causing a man's cancer.

Bayer - which generated close to €40 billion in sales and €4 billion in operating profits in 2018 - took control of Roundup after it acquired agrochemical company Monsanto last summer.

The finding comes after another jury found Bayer's Monsanto unit failed to warn customers of the potential cancer risks of its weed-killers.

The Chronicle notes that Hardeman's case is one of three "bellwether" trials that will establish guidelines for the settlement of 760 other cases against Monsanto around the country that have been transferred to US District Judge Vince Chhabria's court in San Francisco, as well as another 10,000 pending cases elsewhere.

This case involved 70-year Edwin Hardeman, who sprayed the product containing glyphosate on his 56-acre property.

"We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr Hardeman's cancer", the company said.

Monsanto/Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer was found to be a "substantial factor" in causing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a California man, as the trial proceeds to its next phase to determine liability and damages.

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After yesterday's trial, the president of the NGO Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, said, "Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found past year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people".

Bayer in a statement on Tuesday said it was disappointed with the jury's initial decision.

Monsanto, which has sold Roundup worldwide for more than 40 years, contends that scores of studies show the products are not unsafe if properly used.

It says decades of studies and regulatory evaluations, primarily of real-world human exposure data, have shown the weed killer to be safe for human use.

"We will only really know whether it works for Bayer to isolate scientific issues once we see more trials", said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor focusing on mass torts at Los Angeles-based Loyola Law School.

The verdict is the second in the U.S.to find a connection between the herbicide's key ingredient, glyphosate, and the disease. They will be able to present that evidence in the second phase.

It was reported in April previous year that Bayer sold 3.6 per cent stake to Temasek for 3 billion euros at 96.77 euros per share.

The plaintiff's attorneys said he developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after 26 years of regularly using Roundup to tackle weeds and poison oak, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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