Our weed killer is not lethal
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.