Monsanto Thrown Into Chaos by $289 Million Glyphosate Ruling

15 August, 2018, 14:43 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • The active ingredient glyphosate is used in a number of weedkillers but the best known is Roundup

Monsanto lost a key case in a California court last week because of its product glyphosate, opening up more lawsuits across the country.

The jury ruled that Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to regularly using Roundup.

"Despite the Environmental Protection Agency's failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits", Wisner said in a statement after the verdict.

It said other court proceedings with other juries might "arrive at different conclusions" than the jury which ruled in the California lawsuit, the first to accuse glyphosate of causing cancer.

Monsanto - a St. Louis-based company which was acquired by Bayer pharmaceuticals in June - denies claims that Roundup can cause cancer.

"Whilst an appeal is certain and may indeed likely result in the penalty being moderated at a minimum if not reversed altogether, a large number of similar pending cases will now likely multiply". "Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews...support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer", the company said.

Brice tells WPRO that extended exposure could lead to a form of cancer and says Johnson used the product frequently with the chemicals touching his body.

Originally an exclusive Monsanto brand, patent-free glyphosate herbicides are now sold by the global crop-protection industry.

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The U.S. court ruling caught many Bayer investors off guard as no hard evidence of a causal link to cancer had been produced so far.

Monsanto dates from 1901 when it was founded in Missouri as a chemical company. Germany and France have meanwhile taken steps to phase out use of the weedkiller.

The reliance of the USA company - and now, its German acquirer - on Roundup extends far beyond just selling it as a weed killer.

Homebase, which has over 250 stores across the United Kingdom, said Saturday that they would review all of their products which contain the herbicide glyphosate.

Glyphosate-exposed stocks also plunged in Asia and particularly in Australia where a withering drought has already hit herbicide sales.

Concerns about glyphosate drove down Nufarm shares nearly 17 percent in early trade to their lowest since February 2016.

In his statement, Partridge added the company will "continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others".

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