A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.

It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

Dewayne Johnson, 46, was awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.CreditJosh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Monsanto in a statement said it would appeal the verdict. “Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews…support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” the company said.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, causes cancer and says decades of scientific studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use.

Johnson’s case, filed in 2016, was fast-tracked for trial due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system that he alleges was caused by Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide. Johnson’s doctors said he is unlikely to live past 2020.

A former pest control manager for a California county school system, Johnson, 46, applied the weed killer up to 30 times per year.

Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Johnson, in a statement said jurors for the first time had seen internal company documents “proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer.” He called on Monsanto to “put consumer safety first over profits.”

Over the course of the four-week trial, jurors heard testimony by statisticians, doctors, public health researchers and epidemiologists who disagreed on whether glyphosate can cause cancer.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2017 concluded a decades-long assessment of glyphosate risks and found the chemical not likely carcinogenic to humans. But the World Health Organization’s cancer arm in 2015 classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Source:Reuters

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15 COMMENTS

  1. No evidence, was the jury paid off with brown envelopes? For US$289M a US jury can make wierd decisions.
    And these American clowns, how do you determine a scientic case by jury? !!!!!?????
    Zambians, Americans, and others have used this weedkiller for many many years, how of us are dead or have cancer????
    Come on Americans, don’t be like our very own underfive!!!

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    • Stick to trivial debates about by elections for ward councillors..you are punishing above your weight here.

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    • No amount of money will
      Bring back his health.

      What is the point of those several millions if you are carrying a terrible disease.

      I doubt this product is in zambia and hence my surprise it appears on LT

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

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  2. Can state house procure this very powerful product for the weed there? And can lungu personally officially be first one to use it

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  3. Monsanto and Syngenta have been received with both hands in Zambia despite advice from conservationists. Their agro products are genetically modified, they’re everywhere. Now we will reap the consequences

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  4. No wonder cancer cases are increasing all over Africa .Does HH use these Monsanto chemicals at his farms?

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    • The sad part about it is African govts signed agreements years ago with this devil called Monsanto …most of the seed we grow for maize, soya etc is probably supplied by their subsidiary companies produced in Monsanto labs.

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  5. This article is a good warning for most Zambians because roundup is widely used in Zambia. Can the Zambian government act to reduce more cancer cases that we have seen on the rise in the recent past.

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  6. Cancer is on the rise globally more so in Africa where people are less likely to survive long after a cancer diagnosis because of our poor health infrastructure. Large cooperations are more interested in profit than health and don’t for a second think Monsanto cares if their products cause cancer.They lost this case because they have hidden this vital information from consumers for years. Zambia needs to be proactive in preventing this company taking root in the country.They are already infiltrating our agricultural industry. https://www.lusakatimes.com/2017/09/25/biotechnology-poison-manufacturing-corporations-target-zambia-quest-biosafety-policy-amendments/… It’s time to take action before it is too late

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  7. what has the story got to do with ECL and HH? Can’t some people contribute without the mention of these two people who can’t even defend themselves on this forum? Lets learn to stick to the topic at hand. lets transform this forum into one where constructive and progressive ideas are shared

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