First trial over Roundup weed killer cancer claim underway

Maricruz Casares
Julio 14, 2018

A trial is underway this week in California as witnesses will begin to testify in the first case alleging that Monsanto's Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

A district court judge in San Francisco ruled Tuesday that hundreds of cases against Monsanto Roundup may now be taken for trials.

A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

While the decision means the lawsuits can move forward, the judge noted that it could be a "daunting challenge" to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony that glyphosate was responsible for individual cancer cases, the AP reported.

The agrochemical company Monsanto is facing a lawsuit accusing them of having a weed-killing product which causes cancer.

George Lombardi, an attorney for Monsanto, said there is overwhelming evidence that Roundup and similar products do not cause cancer. "We have sympathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the science clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause".

Many government regulators have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.

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Former groundskeepers Dewayne Lee Johnson filed the lawsuit in 2016 after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Claims against Monsanto received a boost in 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer - part of the World Health Organization - announced that two pesticides, including glyphosate, are "probably carcinogenic to humans".

There was "at least a strong argument that the only reasonable conclusion one could draw right now is that we don't yet know" whether the herbicide is causing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he said.

The company Monsanto faces 5,000 lawsuits across America as it's alleged that one of their products, Roundup - which is still sold in the United Kingdom - can cause cancer.

Monsanto also pointed to sections of the opinion that questioned the plaintiffs' evidence.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded in September 2017 that the chemical is likely "not" carcinogenic to humans, provided it was used in accordance with label directions.

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