The maker of Roundup weedkiller has insisted British consumers are safe to use the product after a U.S. jury backed a groundsman's claim the pesticide contributed to his terminal cancer. "But some definitely show an association with cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in people who use these chemicals frequently", Professor Aranda said.
A Californian jury ruled that Monsanto knew its Roundup and Rangerpro weedkillers contained harmful glyphosates that are risky to the public - and had failed to warn consumers of the health risks it presented. "I hope it gets the attention that it needs".
Johnson used Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, his lawyers said.
In the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million in damages to a man who claimed the herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.
"Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost", said Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, a USA environmental organization that researches toxic chemicals and advocates for corporate accountability.
"We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others", Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said.
At one point, when a hose broke, the weedkiller covered his entire body.
Johnson was awarded a total of about $39 million in past and future losses, both economic and noneconomic, but it was the $250 million in punitive damages that seemed to take the courtroom's breath away, as a sigh was heard on a video recording when Bolanos made the announcement.
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Furthermore, the jury found Monsanto officials acted with "malice and oppression" in their selling of the product despite its risks being known. That was enough for the World Health Organization to label the idea that glyphosate caused cancer as "probable".
The ruling is likely to have far reaching ramifications in other parts of the world including India, where glyphosate-based weedkillers are widely used.
Environmentalists in India have forcefully argued that the indiscriminate use of glyphosate poses a grave challenge in India, where the regulatory framework on herbicide and pesticide overuse/misuse is weak.
Monsanto pushed back on the verdict, vowing to appeal the case.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict to his case against Monsanto in San Francisco.
Monsanto issued a statement saying they were sympathetic to the former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson and his family, but denied glyphosate caused his cancer.
They said he even once contacted Monsanto after developing a rash, and wasn't told of any risk, the AP reported.
"Workers could potentially sue their employers if they developed a significant injury as a result of their exposure to Roundup". But Partridge said hundreds of scientific studies and government agencies have concluded that its Roundup weed killer doesn't cause cancer.