Saturday, 21 July, 2018

First trial over Roundup weed killer cancer claim under way

US courts to hear cases that weed-killer sold in UK causes cancer Cancer Lawsuit Against Agrochemical Company Monsanto Proceeds to Trial
Celia Hoffman | 13 July, 2018, 05:29

Opening statements began in federal court in San Francisco on [July 9] in the trial for the first of thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto alleging its weed killer product Roundup causes cancer.

Up next, Chhabria said, individual plaintiffs will need to present "enough evidence to warrant a jury trial on whether glyphosate caused the National Hockey League [cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma] they developed". The ruling allows the claims to move forward, though the judge warned it could be a "daunting challenge" to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony that glyphosate was responsible for individual cancer diagnoses.

The company Monsanto faces 5,000 lawsuits across America as it's alleged that one of their products, Roundup - which is still sold in the United Kingdom - can cause cancer. 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 company notes that cancers "take many years to form", and says Johnson wasn't exposed to Roundup long enough to make a connection between the product and his diagnosis.

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The judge wanted to determine whether the science behind the claim that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had been properly tested and met other requirements to be considered valid.

He spent a week in March hearing from epidemiologists and other doctors. He peppered them with questions about potential strengths and weaknesses of research on the cancer risk of glyphosate.

Depending on how the Roundup trial plays out, it's expected that Johnson's suit, which he filed in 2016, could open the floodgates for many more similar suits against the biotech giant-up to at least 4,000 of them, according to the Chronicle. Homeowners use it on their lawns and gardens. Glyphosate is also listed by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen. Monsanto has attacked the worldwide research agency's opinion as an outlier.

The weed-killer contains glyphosate, a chemical that the US Environmental Protection Agency ruled was not carcinogenic in September.

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