Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Monsanto to appeal $289 million verdict that Roundup caused man's cancer

Monsanto to appeal $289 million verdict that Roundup caused man's cancer

"It is a landmark development in terms of the jury fixing responsibility on Monsanto and its negligence and given the discussion around glyphosate and its safety in India", said Kavitha Kuruganti, from the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA).

"All the efforts by Monsanto to put their finger in the dike and hold back the science; the science is now too persuasive", Kennedy said, pointing to "cascading" scientific evidence about the health dangers of Roundup.

A spokesperson for B&Q said it had already been undertaking a broader review of all garden products in an attempt to manage the range responsibly.

Monsanto has been ordered by a San Francisco jury to pay Dewayne Johnson a total of almost $329 million in damages after he claimed in court that the company's product, Roundup, gave him cancer, NBC News reported.

"The jury got it wrong", Monsanto Vice-President Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.

He cited an American epidemiological study that found "no apparent" association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and its subtypes.

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto - which vowed to appeal - acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness. In fact, Lombardi told the jury, no one has yet figured out what causes the disease.

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Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said on Twitter that the verdict has "huge implications for the food chain".

It is the first lawsuit of its kind to go to trial linking glyphosate to cancer.

Johnson testified that two years after he was soaked with the product, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells and causes swollen lymph nodes and chest pain.

However, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organisation, classified it as a "probable human carcinogen" in 2015. The case had been expedited because of his poor health.

According to a 2017 study of Government data by Oxford Economics, 5.4 million acres of farmland across Britain are treated with glyphosate annually. For example, a crop that has been modified to be tolerant to a particular herbicide, like Roundup, will survive spraying of this herbicide while all other plant life dies. In a review of the chemical previous year, it concluded glyphosate is likely not a carcinogen. We don't think the opinion of a Californian jury should change that.

It is a victory of the people fighting Monsanto for not warning them that its weed killer glyphosate is carcinogenic. On my land right now, I'm spraying it today.

Environmentalists in India have forcefully argued that the indiscriminate use of glyphosate poses a grave challenge in India, where the regulatory framework on herbicide and pesticide overuse/misuse is weak. In the U.S., more than 750 products contain it. "We offer alternatives to glyphosates, and we are now undertaking a broader review of all our garden products". "Councils and other authorities need to review and revisit the use of this chemical ... if they breach their duty of care they could potentially find themselves in a lawsuit".

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