A jury has ordered Monsanto, the maker of Roundup weed killer to pay more than $80 million to a California man whose cancer was partly caused by his use of the popular product. The New York Times reported that the six-member jury found that the corporation liable for the man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to its failure to include a label cautioning consumers about the product’s cancer risks.
The case was heard in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and is a critical milestone in the continuing debate over the health risks of Roundup weed killer, with a particular focus on glyphosate which is the active ingredient in this products. Monsanto has several cases of this sort pending. In the California case, 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman said he used Roundup to control weeds and poison oak on his property for nearly 26 years. Mr Hardeman was diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
In 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate a possible carcinogen. In the last week of March the jury in Hardeman’s case returned verdict saying that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer was a “substantial factor” in causing Hardeman’s cancer. During the second phase of the trial, jurors deliberated over whether Monsanto was negligent and as a result should be held liable for Hardeman’s cancer.
The jury awarded Hardeman a little over $5 million for medical bills and past and future pain and suffering, and $75 million in punitive damages. Plaintiff Lawyers said Monsanto consistently ignored scientific research and overwhelming evidence, which showed the detrimental effects of products of this sort. A statement from Bayer who is the parent company of Monsanto said they would appeal the jury verdict and maintained that Roundup and glyphosate-based herbicides are not carcinogenic. There was nothing coincidental that two different juries to date have determined that Roundup causes cancer. Monsato should be punished for their negligence in this regard.
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