Judge rules glyphosate cancer cases can move forward

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U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - can cause the disease seemed "rather weak".

A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

The company had told Chhabria in March that none of the plaintiffs' specialists fulfilled scientific or legal requirements for admissibility and urged the judge to dismiss the cases.

A San Francisco court now says cases can be brought against the firm on the basis of testimony that Roundup is potentially a cause of the blood cancer non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"The scientific evidence is overwhelming that Glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer", said Monsanto's defense attorney, George Lombardi. But he said a reasonable jury could conclude, based on the findings of four experts he allowed, that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans.

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Many government regulators say there is no link between cancer and glyphosate, the AP reported.

"When you look at the body of epidemiological literature on this topic, there's no evidence of a positive association between glyphosate and National Hockey League risk", she said of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Johnson, the man involved in the first case to go to trial, used Monsanto Roundup during his job as a pest control manager at a school in the San Francisco Bay Area. He peppered them with questions about potential strengths and weaknesses of research on the cancer risk of glyphosate. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 at the age of 42. Monsanto has attacked the worldwide research agency's opinion as an outlier.

Claims against Monsanto received a boost in 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer - part of the World Health Organization - announced that two pesticides, including glyphosate, are "probably carcinogenic to humans".

But later, regulators in the United States and the European Union concluded it was safe. A draft report by the agency past year concluded the herbicide is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

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