Our weed killer is not lethal

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News -

THE maker of pop­u­lar weed killer Roundup yes­ter­day in­sisted its prod­uct was “safe’’ de­spite a jury find­ing it caused can­cer in a dy­ing school groundskeeper, award­ing him $US290 mil­lion in dam­ages.

While ob­servers pre­dicted thou­sands of po­ten­tial fu­ture claims against the com­pany in the wake of the ver­dict, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant Bayer — which re­cently ac­quired Roundup’s man­u­fac­turer Monsanto — said the Cal­i­for­nia rul­ing went against sci­en­tific ev­i­dence.

“On the ba­sis of sci­en­tific con­clu­sions, the views of world­wide reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties and the decades-long prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence with glyphosate use, Bayer is con­vinced that glyphosate is safe and does not cause can­cer,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

It said other court proceedings with other ju­ries might “ar­rive at dif­fer­ent con­clu­sions” than the jury which ruled in the Cal­i­for­nia law­suit — the first to ac­cuse glyphosate of caus­ing can­cer.

Jurors unan­i­mously found that Monsanto acted with “mal­ice” and that its weed killers Roundup and the pro­fes­sional grade ver­sion RangerPro con­trib­uted “sub­stan­tially” to De­wayne John­son’s ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

Mr John­son, 46, was di­ag­nosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin’s lym­phoma — a can­cer that af­fects white blood cells.

He said he re­peat­edly used a pro­fes­sional form of Roundup while work­ing at a school in Cal­i­for­nia.

“The cause is way big­ger than me,’’ he said.

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