Just weeks after Bayer AG announced its acquisition of Monsanto, the company was hit with a landmark $289 million verdict after a San Francisco jury found Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro caused a man’s cancer. Bayer wasn’t expecting to face its next case among the 8,700 waged against it until February. But an elderly couple who say the weed killer gave them both cancer want their day in court “before they die,” and are asking for their case to be moved to the front of the line, and for their trial to happen in December.
Both husband and wife are in their 70s and are calling on the same California law that the man who won the first and only Monsanto verdict used – that priority be given to people who are terminally ill. Monsanto is fighting to postpone the couple’s state trial in Oakland, California, arguing that the couple shouldn’t have an expedited the trial because they haven’t met the requirements to do so.
Roundup was introduced commercially by Monsanto Company in 1974 and is widely used by landscapers, farmers, groundskeepers, commercial gardeners and home gardeners. Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer.
The primary ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro is the chemical glyphosate. In May 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Some studies have linked glyphosate to cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who is handling thousands of federal Roundup cases, is looking to schedule the first four trials for spring 2019.