A California jury found Monsanto guilty of causing cancer to a man with its Roundup herbicide. He will have to pay US $ 289 million in damages, although for the plaintiff the battle is lost: he will die of cancer soon.
A San Francisco, California jury found Monsanto guilty Friday in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged that the herbicide Roundup, whose active component is the dangerous glyphosate, caused him cancer. The company will have to pay US $ 289 million in damages.
The case of school gardener Dewayne Johnson was based on the man claiming to have terminal cancer caused by glyphosate. Monsanto, which was recently acquired by Bayer for the astronomical sum of US $ 62 billion, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States, and Johnson's case could represent a before and after in these types of lawsuits.
The jury deliberated for three days before deciding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its herbicides.
The gardener stated that, had he known what the potential risks of the product were, he would never have sprayed it near children and adults in the school where he works, and that he would obviously never have used it to the detriment of his own health.
Johnson's case, filed in 2016, was accelerated due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that he claims was caused by Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide. Johnson's doctors said they are unlikely to live beyond 2020.
The man was in charge of controlling pests and weeds at a California county school, and while he had that job he applied Roundup up to 30 times a year.
The World Health Organization classified glyphosate as "potentially carcinogenic to humans", although the US Environmental Protection Agency, in 2017 (climate change denier) denied that this was true and assured that it is safe to use.
Monsanto will appeal the verdict saying, "Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer."