Jury: Roundup weed killer is major factor in man's cancer

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The jury will now decide whether to hold Monsanto liable, raising the prospect of another multi-million dollar verdict.

That award was later reduced to $78m and is on appeal.

With that question decided against Bayer, jurors will now hear about two more weeks of testimony to determine whether the company is liable for Hardeman's cancer, and if so, what damages he's owed.

After yesterday's trial, the president of the NGO Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, said, "Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found a year ago, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people".

In the next phase of the federal trial, Mr Hardeman's lawyers will present evidence, including internal Monsanto documents, that could show the company knew the dangers of Roundup and glyphosate and attempted to cover them up. All three bellwether cases will be split into causation and liability phases. We have great sympathy for Mr. Hardeman and his family, but an extensive body of science supports the conclusion that Roundup was not the cause of his cancer.

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Chief executive Werner Baumann said last month the company faced a total of 11,200 USA cases over Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate, a herbicide key to Monsanto's business model that has come in for intense scrutiny around the world.

Regulatory authorities around the world consider glyphosate-based herbicides as safe when used as directed. Even as more cases are waiting to be heard in United States courts, more cancer sufferers are also queuing to file suits against Monsanto.

The two USA cases have turned on a 2015 finding from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, that Roundup is "probably carcinogenic".

Michael Baum, an attorney who represented Johnson, told Buzzfeed that the jury's verdict in the Hardeman case is "a huge win for all Roundup-induced National Hockey League claimants and a devastating loss for Bayer/Monsanto". Bayer argued that the hepatitis Hardeman suffered for decades is the primary cause of his disease.

Bayer, which closed on the purchase of Monsanto last summer, faces more than 11,000 US lawsuits alleging that glyphosate causes cancer.

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In the Frankfurt stock exchange, the German conglomerate's share price plummeted by more than 12% Wednesday to €60.81 ($69.04), spurred by fears that the ruling may clear a path for other lawsuits against the chemical giant.

Last August on an investment community teleconference, Bayer executives said insurance is in place for circumstances such as this.

Pharmaceutical group Bayer had strongly rejected claims that its glyphosate-based Roundup product was carcinogenic.

Colombia became the last country in the world to outlaw aerial spraying of glyphosate in 2015, but President Ivan Duque in March 2019 called for the ban to modified in order tackle record cocaine crops.

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