Weedkiller glyphosate 'doesn't cause cancer' - Bayer

Answer Monsanto

Homebase is reviewing its range of weedkiller products after a man with terminal cancer successfully sued a manufacturer in the US, Sky News can reveal.

The lawsuit was filed by Dewayne Johnson, who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killer products such as Roundup and Roundup Pro caused his cancer.

A San Francisco jury on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease. He sprayed large quantities from a 189 litre tank attached to a truck, and during gusty winds the product would cover his face, one of his attorneys, Brent Wisner, said. "Hopefully this thing will get the attention it needs".

As part of his duties as groundskeeper at a California school, Johnson used Roundup between 20 and 40 times a year, sometimes "hundreds of gallons" at a time, according to his lawyer.

The company, which has denied any link between the glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and cancer, vowed to appeal the verdict and "vigorously" defend its product.

"Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost", said Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, a US environmental organization that researches toxic chemicals and advocates for corporate accountability. They deliberated for three days before awarding Johnson $250 million in punitive damages and $39 million in compensatory damages.

The jury said that the packaging of the product should have indicated the risks of using it.

However the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, said in a 2015 report that it was "probably carcinogenic to humans".

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"Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews - and conclusions by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world - support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr Johnson's cancer", it added.

Its active ingredient, glyphosate, kills all plant life and since Monsanto's patent expired in 2000 it can be found in most commercial and industrial weed killers worldwide.

Plaintiff DeWayne Johnson hugs one of his lawyers after hearing the verdict.

"We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family", Partridge said.

Mr Johnson read the label and even contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer.

"You not only see many people injured, you see the corruption of public officials, the capture of agencies that are supposed to protect us from pollution and the falsification of science", Kennedy said.

"It is a landmark development in terms of the jury fixing responsibility on Monsanto and its negligence and given the discussion around glyphosate and its safety in India", said Kavitha Kuruganti, from the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA).

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