USA judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial

US courts to hear cases that weed-killer sold in UK causes cancer

A judge's ruling means that hundreds of lawsuits alleging Roundup weed killer caused a cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can move forward.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco followed years of litigation and weeks of hearings about the controversial science surrounding the safety of the chemical glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's top-selling weed-killer.

Citing expert testimony from three doctors who spoke on plaintiffs' behalf, Chhabria wrote in his ruling, "the opinions of these experts, while shaky, are admissible".

The agrochemical company Monsanto is facing a lawsuit accusing them of having a weed-killing product which causes cancer.

More than 400 lawsuits were filed before Chhabria's court.

Monsanto denies the allegations and in a statement said it would continue to defend the lawsuits with evidence proving there is "absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer". "We have sympathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the science clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause".


Chhabria said the evidence, "viewed in its totality, seems too equivocal to support any firm conclusion that glyphosate causes" non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Johnson, the man involved in the first case to go to trial, used Monsanto Roundup during his job as a pest control manager at a school in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Beate Ritz, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, testified for the plaintiffs that her review of scientific literature led her to conclude that glyphosate and glyphosate-based compounds such as Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The company Monsanto faces 5,000 lawsuits across America as it's alleged that one of their products, Roundup - which is still sold in the United Kingdom - can cause cancer.

But the World Health Organization in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans". Monsanto has attacked the global research agency's opinion as an outlier. "Here, although there is no need to specify precisely the circumstances under which each plaintiff was exposed to glyphosate, only evidence supporting the conclusion that glyphosate causes National Hockey League in doses within the realistic realm of actual human exposure can get the plaintiffs past summary judgment".

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