Monsanto is appealing a multimillion-dollar verdict blaming its weed killers Roundup and Ranger Pro for causing a school groundskeeper’s terminal cancer.
The notice of appeal was filed in San Francisco Superior Court challenging a California jury’s unanimous decision. In the landmark trial, the jury found that DeWayne “Lee” Johnson’s regular use of Roundup and Ranger Pro while working on school campuses contributed to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. The jury awarded Johnson $289 million in damages, but last month, Judge Suzanne Bolanos reduced the award to $78 million.
Johnson claimed that studies showed that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro, was linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) characterized glyphosate as a likely carcinogen, pointing to cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in farmers who used the products regularly.
Monsanto introduced Roundup more than 40 years ago. Its sales boomed years later after the company genetically modified seeds to be resistant to glyphosate. This allowed crops to be doused with Roundup and Ranger Pro, which effectively killed the weeds but didn’t hurt the genetically altered plants.
Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto in June, said in a statement that the verdict and multimillion-dollar judgment “are not supported by the evidence at trial or the law.” The company said it would provide information on its own studies to prove its products are safe.
Monsanto faces about 9,500 lawsuits alleging its herbicides caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Source: Legal Scoops