Monsanto Ordered to Pay $80 Million After Its Roundup Caused Cancer in California Man

by on March 28, 2019 · 1 comment

in California, Environment

The jury found Monsanto guilty of negligence and failing to adequately warn consumers of Roundup weed killer’s cancer risks.

Andrew Emett / NationofChange / March 28, 2019

A federal jury unanimously ruled Wednesday that Monsanto was liable for causing a California man’s cancer and was ordered to pay more than $80 million in damages. The jury found Monsanto guilty of negligence and failing to adequately warn consumers of Roundup weed killer’s cancer risks.

In 1986, Edwin Hardeman began using Monsanto herbicides to treat poison oak, overgrowth, and weeds on his property until 2012. In February 2015, Hardeman was diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) after repeated exposure to the glyphosate in Roundup.

On March 19, the jury unanimously decided that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide was a substantial factor in causing Hardeman’s cancer. On Wednesday, the jurors ordered the company to pay $75 million in punitive damages, $3.2 million in past losses, and $2 million in future losses.

On Wednesday, Bayer, the company that purchased Monsanto last June, released the following statement:

“We are disappointed with the jury’s decision, but this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of our glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic. The verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances. Bayer will appeal this verdict.”

“As demonstrated throughout trial, since Roundup’s inception over 40 years ago, Monsanto refuses to act responsibly,” Hardeman’s lawyers said in a recent statement. “It is clear from Monsanto’s actions that it does not care whether Roundup causes cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about Roundup.”

During the trial, Hardeman’s attorneys accused Monsanto of bullying scientists, suppressing research, and ghostwriting multiple academic articles in the 1990s and 2000s in an attempt to mislead federal regulators and the public about Roundup’s safety. They also alleged that Monsanto has a “cozy relationship” with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while paying scientists to conduct favorable studies.

Although the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer (IARC) ruled that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015, the EPA has determined that glyphosate is safe for use.

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Avatar retired botanist March 28, 2019 at 2:33 pm

A small victory, we’ll take it, but not very satisfying in the larger scheme of things. Of course Monsanto needed a name change after trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to greenwash all their GMO tainted products and world seed takeover (GMO issues going at least all the way back to the Starlink corn disaster in 2000- at the time created by Aventis). So once Monsanto couldn’t shake the bad press and demonstrations associated with GMO and glyphosate, well, just change the name. Now Bayer sounds super friendly, right? Like baby aspirin, soothing and safe- NOT. Its what they all do, same poison, new name.
When are we going to start making EPA and FDA accountable? That’s the crux. Super easy for a private, powerful company to just name-change and re-brand, and fight lawsuits, less so for a Govt agency. Govt’s excuse? “We were hoodwinked! We didn’t know”. I call BS.
And of course Bayer is appealing. which means glyphosate will stay on the market at least several more years, even though most of Europe banned it.
This is the pattern in the US. At this point its horribly familiar- I could write these scripts. :(

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