Bayer subsidiary Monsanto has announced that an Oregon jury had sided with it in a verdict that glyphosate, the active chemical in its popularly used Roundup herbicide, did not cause a plaintiff's cancer. The company said the jury reached a unanimous verdict, reports the Jurist.
“The unanimous verdict in favour of the company brings this trial to a successful conclusion and is consistent with the evidence in this case that Roundup does not cause cancer and was not the cause of Mr Johnson’s (one of the plaintiffs) cancer,” said Bayer. “While we have great sympathy for him, the jury has weighed the evidence from both sides in this case and concluded that Roundup is not responsible for his injuries.”
The question as to whether glyphosate causes cancer is contentious, with some organisations, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, claiming that it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Other organisations like the US Environmental Protection Agency and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment have re-evaluated glyphosate and deemed it safe when used properly.
Bayer has responded to claims that glyphosate is carcinogenic, saying: “There is an extensive body of research (…) which confirms these products can be used safely and that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”
The legal results for Bayer and Monsanto have also been mixed. While this is the company’s fourth consecutive win, in May last year a couple won $86m claiming Roundup caused their blood cancer. Monsanto has petitioned the US Supreme Court for certiorari and the court is scheduled to respond on 23 June.
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