US judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial
14 July, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Kara Nash
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. But he said a reasonable jury could conclude, based on the findings of four experts he allowed, that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans.
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.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for a jury to hear the case.
The California state judge who handles the most Roundup cases posted to her docket that she was attending the hearings before Chhabria in March. It has since been sold in more than 160 countries.
Roundup, made by U.S. giant Monsanto, is sprayed on gardens and parks and is used by farmers producing food crops.
In its defense, Monsanto said the allegations were not true.
However, Monsanto said there's no evidence of a connection between their product and cancer.
The plaintiffs will now have to show Roundup caused cancer in individual people whose cases will be selected for test trials, a phase Chhabria called a "daunting challenge".
Brent Wisner, an attorney for Johnson, told jurors during his opening statement on Monday that his client sprayed large quantities of Roundup for two years at his job at a San Francisco Bay Area school district. When the wind was gusty, it would cover his face, Wisner said. In one incident, the hose attached to the tank got broken and the herbicide soaked Johnson's entire body.
Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of two, says he is sick because of contact with Roundup, the top-selling weed killer made by the US company. In 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
George Lombardi, attorney for Monsanto, said the disease takes years to develop and thereby argued that Johnson's cancer started prior his use of Roundup.
Another federal judge presiding over hundreds of lawsuits like Johnson's is deciding whether the claim that Roundup weed killer can cause cancer is supported by good science.
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