A San Francisco jury rules that Bayer's Roundup weed herbicide is a major factor leading to a California man's cancer diagnosis.
On March 19, the six-person jury determined that Roundup's maker, Monsanto, contributed to Edwin Hardeman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hardeman, 70, is the second plaintiff to charge a case against the company.
In August 2018, another plaintiff with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was awarded with $289 million worth of damages, but the court eventually reduced it to $78 million. Monsanto has since appealed on the case.
Hardeman joins 11,200 other lawsuits to go against Roundup and its manufacturer in the United States.
Weed Killer, Cancer Maker
Roundup contains an active ingredient called glyphosate, which according to Monsanto is generally safe based on related studies. Government regulators have rejected the notion that glyphosate causes cancer.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a "probable human carcinogen."
Hardeman started using Roundup in the 1980s until 2012 to treat poison oaks and weeds. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2015. He refused to comment outside court, but his attorneys said he is pleased with the jury's finding.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," said Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, who are both Hardeman's legal counsels.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in June 2018, said they were disappointed by the jury's decision and emphasized that glyphosate does not cause cancer.
In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an internal investigation on an alleged collusion between a high-ranking EPA official and Monsanto. The allegations were that Jess Rowland, the former EPA pesticide division manager, bragged about killing an investigation on Monsanto's herbicide ingredient.
"When it comes to safety assessments, no other pesticide has been more extensively tested than glyphosate," Monsanto said in a statement. "In evaluations spanning four decades, the overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide, including the EPA, has been that glyphosate can be used safely according to label instructions."
Rowland quit his position shortly after his report on glyphosate was leaked to the press.