Glyphosate, the basic component in Roundup, was found to be the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both Alva and Alberta Pilliod.
He and his wife were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.
The jury also unanimously found that Monsanto Co. - the company that makes Roundup and was purchased by Bayern AG previous year - should be punished for warning to tell customers that the herbicide was unsafe.
EPA's conclusion is based on a database of more than 800 studies on glyphosate and Bayer's glyphosate-based herbicides that relate to human and mammalian health, and its 2017 cancer risk assessment also examined numerous studies in the open literature. A spokesman called the jury's decision "excessive and unjustifiable".
FILE PHOTO: The Bayer AG logo sits on display at the headquarters in La Garenne-Colombes, near Paris, France, May 13, 2019.
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Bayer said the jury was presented with "cherry-picked findings" inconsistent with a statement last month by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which announced that glyphosate was not a carcinogen and posed no public health risk when used as directed.
"Internal company emails, released as part of a lawsuit against the company, show how Monsanto recruited outside scientists to co-author reports defending the safety of glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup". It was caused by Roundup.
Alberta and Alba Pilliod Of Livermore say they have been battling cancer for nine years.
The level of punitive damages may be reduced on appeal, but right now it's the eighth-biggest product-defect jury award in USA history.
A federal jury in San Francisco previously ordered the weed killer maker to pay a man $115 million and a San Francisco jury in August awarded $416 million to a former greenskeeper, though a judge later reduced it. The company also said it would appeal that decision.
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Levine said those cases are now making their way through the appellate process and the outcome could have a big impact on what Monsanto decides to do about the other pending litigation. Berninger said he "firmly believes that other countries in Europe will be affected".
Bayer added that it would appeal the verdict, the third such ruling against the company.
The Pilliods said they had used the Roundup herbicide on their yard and other properties for decades.
They were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Both of them are now in remission, but their trial had been expedited due to the risk of a relapse and potentially short life expectancy. The company insists the glyphosate-based product is not linked to cancer. Bayer denies those allegations.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, however, concluded in 2015 that the chemical probably causes cancer.
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