United States jury finds Roundup caused man's cancer

Another guilty verdict for Monsanto as jury finds weed-killer was a ‘substantial factor’ in causing man’s cancer

Image via Mike Mozart

Bayer in a statement said it was disappointed with the jury's initial decision. The jury will now decide whether to hold Monsanto liable, raising the prospect of another multi-million dollar verdict.

The San Francisco court ruled in Johnson's favor last August, ultimately awarding him $78.5 million in damages and saying Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud" by not adequately warning customers about the carcinogenic dangers of its products, "and should be punished for its conduct".

The jury in Hardeman's case is now tasked with determining liability and damages. Another California man was awarded $289 million in August after a state court jury found Roundup caused his cancer, sending Bayer shares plunging at the time.

In the next phase of the federal trial, Mr Hardeman's lawyers will present evidence, including internal Monsanto documents, that could show the company knew the dangers of Roundup and glyphosate and attempted to cover them up. 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. There is an extensive body of research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 rigorous studies submitted to EPA, European, and other regulators in connection with the registration process, that confirms that these products are safe when used as directed.

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The herbicide came under increasing scrutiny after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a "probable human carcinogen" in 2015.

Not all disagree with the verdict, such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a group critical of glyphosate use.

A U.S. jury found that weedkiller Roundup was a "substantial factor" in the cancer of a United States man who developed a lump in his throat after decades of spraying his garden.

Evidence is nearly certain to resurface that Monsanto ghostwrote scientific literature and influenced regulators to claim that Roundup is safe.

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"The decision by Bayer to purchase Monsanto, a company with a long history of environmental malfeasance, could go down as one of the worst business decisions ever made", said Cook. Bayer now faces some 11,000 suits from cancer patients and their families, and its second loss paints a dire picture.

Germany's Bayer, which bought Monsanto previous year, filed an appeal.

Bayer AG shares dropped 13 per cent to 60.66 euros ($68.84) in Frankfurt Wednesday.

Bayer, which specializes in producing pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals and biotechnology products, inherited the legal battles with its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, the US' leading producer of genetically engineered crops. "There is a reason glyphosate has been used (successfully) for over four decades". Baumann was aware of the seed maker's image problem, but believed that changing Monsanto's name would help sway public opinion.

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"For example, the city of Miami just banned the use of glyphosate".

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