Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial

  • Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial

Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial

Claims against Monsanto received a boost in 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer - part of the World Health Organization - announced that two pesticides, including glyphosate, are "probably carcinogenic to humans".

There have been conflicting scientific findings on whether glyphosate caused cancer or not.

But later, regulators in the USA and the European Union concluded it was safe. That case is waiting on a judge's evidentiary decision that could determine if the case will proceed.

Citing expert testimony from three doctors who spoke on plaintiffs' behalf, Chhabria wrote in his ruling, "the opinions of these experts, while shaky, are admissible".

In a statement, Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said the company would "continue to defend these lawsuits with robust evidence that proves there is absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer".

A flurry of lawsuits against Monsanto in federal and state courts followed, and California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

Monsanto introduced glyphosate in the market in the 1970s.

A separate trial is under way in San Francisco in a lawsuit by a school groundskeeper dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - the first case a jury has heard alleging Roundup caused cancer. Farmers in California, the most agriculturally productive state in the US, use it on more than 200 types of crops. The company asserted there are more than 800 scientific studies that can back up their position. Brent Wisner, his attorney, told the court that Johnson sprayed large quantities of the herbicide from a tank that can hold as much as 50 gallons. In one incident, the hose attached to the tank got broken and the herbicide soaked Johnson's entire body. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 at the age of 42.

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 USA company.

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. The Johnson case is taking place on its own because attorneys feared he would die before the proceedings could begin.