Monsanto to appeal $289 million verdict that Roundup caused man's cancer

12 August, 2018, 07:44 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Jury backs man who claims Roundup weed killer caused cancer

Monsanto will appeal the verdict and has insisted the product is safe.

But a spokesperson for Homebase said it would be reviewing its product range after the ruling in California.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We have confirmed that we will be reviewing our range of weedkiller products".

In a landmark verdict, a jury in the USA has ruled that Monsanto's Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers are linked to cancer, and directed the agro-giant to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed the disease.

Jurors found on Friday that Monsanto had acted with "malice" and that its weed killers contributed "substantially" to Mr Johnson's terminal illness.

Dewayne Johnson (centre) was awarded £226m in damages from Monsanto. Monsanto would be appealing against the jury's verdict, he added. "Dozens of the suits were joined to be heard in the court of U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria - who, even as he allowed the case to proceed, said the plaintiffs "appear to face a daunting challenge" in supporting their claims at the next phase of the case". "The science is crystal clear".

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It is the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

The scientific world, however, has raised doubts about glyphosate. There is no consensus globally on banning the weedkillers using glyphosate.In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organisation's cancer agency, concluded that glyphosate-based weedkiller was "probably carcinogenic to humans".

Campaigners are now calling for a review of pesticide regulations in the United Kingdom after the case, saying that glyphosate poses a risk to public health, soils and the environment.

It contains glyphosate, a herbicide that has been the subject of huge controversy in the European Union where several countries have attempted to bring in a bloc-wide ban, despite the opposition of farmers. There are also thousands of other cases focusing on Roundup pending. European safety regulators have come to an opposite conclusion to that of the World Health Organization, determining that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

Former South Otago organic farmer Graham Clarke welcomed the judgment, calling it a "fantastic result" but said "it won't be the end of it of course". We don't think the opinion of a Californian jury should change that. The use of glyphosate on HT Bt cottonseeds cotton crop kills the weeds, while allowing the resistant plants to grow. On my land right now, I'm spraying it today.

Environmentalists in India have forcefully argued that the indiscriminate use of glyphosate poses a grave challenge in India, where the regulatory framework on herbicide and pesticide overuse/misuse is weak. For example, FactCheck.org calculated that people would have to eat over 35 kilograms of agricultural products containing glyphosate a day just to reach the strictest safety limits. "We offer alternatives to glyphosates, and we are now undertaking a broader review of all our garden products". On the stand, he described what he called his careful use of the product.

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