Earlier this month, a jury awarded a man in California $80 million in damages, ending a suit he filed over allegations that Roundup gave him cancer.
Earlier this month, a jury awarded a California man $80 million in damages after it agreed that “Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor” in the man’s cancer diagnosis. The man is Edwin Hardeman, 70. According to Hardeman, he regularly used “Roundup products to treat poison oak, overgrowth and weeds on his property for years.” Hardeman’s suit is only one of thousands of similar suits filed against the agribusiness giant, which was actually purchased by Bayer last year. Hardeman’s attorneys said the recent jury decision could “help determine the fate of the other lawsuits.”
In response to the jury’s decision, Bayer said it will appeal the verdict and added, “the verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances…We are disappointed with the jury’s decision, but this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide that support the safety of our glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic.”
Both Bayer and Monsanto have pushed back against claims that the active ingredients in Roundup are safe. However, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “glyphosate, a pesticide, and herbicide best known as an ingredient in Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen.” The International Agency for Research on Cancer is part of the World Health Organization.
Hardeman’s case was overseen by U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria. Though he is overseeing hundreds of other Roundup lawsuits, he said “Hardeman’s case and two others bellwether trials.”
Ken Cook, the president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is among the many people relieved over the jury’s decision. In a recent statement about the decision, he said, “the testimony that informed the jury’s decision was Bayer-Monsanto hiding Roundup’s carcinogenic properties, manipulating the science and cozying-up with EPA so it would not have to warn consumers of its dangerous product.”
Cook added, “Bayer-Monsanto has known for decades the cancer-causing properties of Roundup and I applaud the jury for holding the company accountable for failing to warn consumers of the known danger.”
Unfortunately, glyphosate hasn’t only been found in Roundup. According to a report last year from the Environmental Working Group, the herbicide “was found in more than two dozen popular breakfast cereals and snack bars.” Another report issued by U.S. PIRG, a public interest advocacy group, claimed “glyphosate was found in another test of five wines and 15 beers, including organic ones.” According to the report, 19 out of 20 of the drinks “found traces of glyphosate.”