Sympathetic jurors awarded $289 million to a plaintiff who claimed that his incurable cancer was caused by prolonged use of the popular weed killer, Roundup. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, disagrees with the jury’s decision and plans to appeal the verdict. More than 5,000 other lawsuits are currently pending against Monsanto on similar claims.
Court Case Ignited Firestorm Over Weed Killer Danger
As a groundskeeper for a California school district, plaintiff DeWayne Johnson, 46, claimed he used Roundup several dozen times each year for his job. Johnson’s legal team argued that exposure to glyphosate is what caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The prosecutors also claimed that Monsanto, the makers of Roundup, failed to warn their customers of the potential health hazards of their product. The jury agreed with the prosecution and found the company liable.
Verdict Lends Strength to Calls for Bans
The court case is the first legal victory in a decades-long fight over whether glyphosate causes cancer. The World Health Organization includes glyphosate in its list of probable carcinogens based on credible evidence. The International Agency for Research on Cancer also classifies glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
More than a dozen countries around the world have already banned the chemical. In the United States, several states are also considering a ban.
Additional Scientific Evidence Can Help
Even though an increasing number of health authorities and scientists worldwide believe that glyphosate is a cancer-causing agent, Monsanto disputes these findings. They point to other scientific research that spans 40 years, claiming the chemical is safe for humans.
Additional scientific evidence on whether glyphosate is carcinogenic, based on objective and rigorous research, is certainly needed. The findings could further influence regulatory agencies nationally and globally to implement further bans on this dangerous chemical based on any new or overwhelming evidence.