Jury: Roundup weed killer major factor in man’s cancer

Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed for sale at a garden shop near Brussels Belgium

Federal jurors in San Francisco found Tuesday that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing the cancer of a California man who used the weed killer to kill poison oak on his 56-acre property for 26 years.

Roundup weed killer was substantial factor...

The plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman, was diagnosed with large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in February 2015, almost 35 years after he began using the product to kill poison ivy on his property.

A second trial into Monsanto's Roundup product in the U.S. has found that the herbicide was the cause of a man's cancer in California.

Bayer expressed disappointment with the decision, but maintained that the science confirmed that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer.

Bayer said that it stands behind its products and will continue to "vigorously defend" them. The verdict was later reduced by to US$78 million.

The Hardeman's case is considered a landmark trial for hundreds of other plaintiffs in the United States with similar claims, which means the verdict could affect future litigation and other cancer patients and families.

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During this phase, which starts on Wednesday, Mr Hardeman's lawyers are expected to present evidence allegedly showing Bayer's efforts to influence scientists, regulators and the public about the safety of its products.

Another Roundup trial is scheduled to begin in California state court in Oakland on 28 March, involving a couple who claim Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The jury's verdict comes just months after Monsanto was ordered to pay over $200 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who said Roundup caused his cancer. The trial is expected to proceed to the next phase, beginning on Wednesday, with the jury to determine the liability and damages in the case. Bayer faces lawsuits from more than 11,200 people regarding its glyphosate-containing weedkillers, Roundup and Ranger Pro. He was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2015.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined in a 2017 draft human health risk assessment that glyphosate was not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. Attorneys say the trial, which will determine in a second phase whether the company is liable and if so, for how much, could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate has been linked to causing cancer through various studies. "What is clear is that the legacy Monsanto company had insurance in place, standard product litigation insurance", says Liam Condon, Bayer Crop Science chief executive officer.

Hardeman's lawyers plan to discuss research on the harmful effects of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, in the second phase of the trial.

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