Washington DC, Mar 19 (EFE).– A federal jury in the United States on Tuesday found that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide was a “substantial factor” in the development of cancer in a man who used the product of the now subsidiary of German multinational Bayer for decades.
This is the second verdict blaming Monsanto’s glyphosate for causing cancer after a California state jury last year sentenced the company to pay $289 million – later reduced to $78 million – to a gardener exposed to the product.
The verdict released Tuesday is the first on the federal level and the affected man Edwin Hardeman, 70-year-old, used the controversial herbicide, which is marketed as Roundup, regularly in his garden in California between 1980 and 2012.
Hardeman now suffers from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells.
Having concluded that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in Hardeman’s cancer, the trial now moves on to the stage where the jury must decide whether Monsanto is responsible for it.
“Today’s verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people,” the President of the environmental organization Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, said in a statement.
“As similar lawsuits accumulate,” he added, “the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe and that the company has tried to cover it up.”
In the previous case, the first conviction against Monsanto in the US, a jury determined that the company did not correctly warn of the health risks of Roundup, which it considered “a substantial factor” in the illness of gardener Dewayne Johnson.
Johnson, who also suffers from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, used the controversial Monsanto herbicide on a frequent basis while working as a gardener in San Francisco and, according to him, it was the continued exposure to this product that caused his cancer.
The initial sentence convicted Monsanto to pay $289 million to Johnson, but later this was reduced to $78 million ($39 million for damages and another $39 million for exemplary punishment).
Monsanto, however, has appealed the guilty verdict as it considers that neither the guilty verdict nor the conviction “are backed by evidence or by law.”