from the something-that-kills-something-might-be-bad-for-you dept.
In the first trial of its kind, a Californian dying of cancer is suing US agrochemical giant Monsanto, claiming its popular herbicide Roundup caused his disease—a case that could have sweeping ramifications.
The stakes are high for Monsanto, which could face massive losses should it have to pay out damages over the product, whose main ingredient is glyphosate, a substance which some say is dangerously carcinogenic.
Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of two, says he is sick because of contact with Roundup, which he used for two years from 2012 as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district near San Francisco, his lawyer Timothy Litzenburg told AFP.
Thousands of lawsuits targeting Monsanto are currently proceeding through the US court system, according to American media.
Litzenburg says he represents hundreds of people who also say they are victims of glyphosate.
Whether the substance causes cancer has been the source of endless debate among government regulators, health experts and lawyers.
"A major part of that job was spraying Roundup or Ranger Pro (a similar Monsanto product)... He sprayed it 20 to 40 times per year, sometimes hundreds of gallons at a time on the school properties," Litzenburg said.
In 2014, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that affects white blood cells. Two years later, and no longer able to work, he filed suit against Monsanto, which he accuses of hiding its product's dangers.
"His case has been expedited because he currently has only a few months to live," his lawyer said.
Wikipedia entry on glyphosate.
Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million in California Roundup cancer trial
A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused him cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.
The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.
The jury at San Francisco's Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.
It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.
Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million to Man Who Claimed Glyphosate Caused His Cancer
Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.
In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It's the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.
Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. "The jury got it wrong," vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.
The claimant in the case, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.
Monsanto? Never heard of it. Did you mean Bayer AG?
Related: Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage
The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.
A new study [open, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1803880115] [DX] by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin posit that glyphosate — the active ingredient in the herbicide — destroys specialized gut bacteria in bees, leaving them more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.
Researchers Nancy Moran, Erick Motta and Kasie Raymann suggest their findings are evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that has been wreaking havoc on honey bees and native bees for more than a decade.
Also at Science Magazine.
Landmark Study: Honeybee Queens Severely Affected by Neonicotinoid Pesticides
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage
Extensive Study Concludes Neonicotinoid Pesticides Harm Bees
Lithium Chloride May Help in Fixing Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
European Regulator Finds That Neonicotinoid Pesticides Threaten Bees
Monsanto Faces First US Trial Over Roundup Cancer Link
Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Glyphosate Cancer Trial