The first federal trial involving claims that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup caused cancer is underway in San Francisco, and the outcome may determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits.
Edwin Hardeman claims he used Roundup on his 56-acre property in Sonoma County from the 1980s until 2012. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015. He claims that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is carcinogenic and contributed to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis.
Hardeman’s case is one of about 8,000 filed against Monsanto, and the second to be tried. His trial comes six months after a California jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who blamed his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis on regular use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers, both of which contain glyphosate. His award was later reduced to $78 million.
Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto last year, has vigorously defended the safety of its herbicides despite the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s decision in 2015 to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. The weed killer has been on the market since the 1970s and is sold in more than 160 countries. It is widely used in the United States. However, many countries have banned or restricted its use due to health concerns.
Hardeman’s trial will take a different course than the first Roundup trial. His will be tried in two phases. In the first phase, Hardeman will have to convince jurors that glyphosate exposure caused his cancer. The second phase will involve Monsanto’s involvement. The trial is expected to last about a month.
Source: NBC News