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A federal jury has ordered Monsanto to pay $81 million in damages after concluding that the company’s best-selling weed killer, Roundup, was a significant factor in plaintiff Edward Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This case marks the first of three federal trials that could establish settlement precedents for thousands of pending lawsuits across the country against Monsanto, which is part of the Germany-based conglomerate Bayer. The plaintiffs allege that glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, is a cause of their cancer.
In a state court decision last year, a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper with non-Hodgkins lymphoma after finding Monsanto failed to warn him about the potential health hazards of using Roundup.
In response, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Toxics Program director Kara Cook-Schultz released this statement:
“Ever since the World Health Organization determined glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, we have been warning consumers that Roundup poses a possible health risk. The huge damages awarded in this case reflects that the jury shares our concerns.
“After this massive award, we expect to see even more awareness that Roundup is not as safe as advertised. Following the state court decision last year, more cities enacted ordinances that would regulate the use of Roundup on playgrounds, schoolyards and public parks. For example, the city of Miami just banned the use of glyphosate. We expect a similar response soon elsewhere. What community would want to put its people at risk?”
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