Second jury finds glypo / cancer link

Second US jury finds a link between glyphosate and cancer

Glyphosate is the most common chemical in Australian broadacre cropping.

Glyphosate is the most common chemical in Australian broadacre cropping.


A second US jury has found that glyphosate has contributed to a person's cancer.


A SECOND California-based jury has found the glyphosate-based herbicide causes cancer.

Just months after the Dewayne Johnson case sent shockwaves with its finding that Roundup had contributed to his cancer and ordered the then owner of the product, Monsanto, pay hundreds of millions in damages, the jury this week found Roundup caused 70 year old Edwin Hardeman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The jury, sitting in the US District Court, returned a unanimous verdict.

RELATED: Glyphosate will face ban if we don't speak up

The second part of the case, where the damages are awarded, has yet to be heard.

After the Johnson case, there was speculation the precedent would open the floodgates for this type of action, and with the Hardeman case, it appears this may be the case, especially in California, where both guilty findings have been handed down.

However Bayer, the new owner of glyphosate, said in a statement following the Hardeman case, it did not believe the findings created a precedent for other cases.

"Regardless of the outcome, however, the decision in phase one of this trial has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances," the statement said.

As Monsanto did after the Johnson case Bayer, will continue to argue it should not be liable for damages.

"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer.

"We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and that the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer.

In total, Bayer is facing more than 11,000 similar cases in the US.

Following the Johnson case there was high profile debate in the ag sector about the merits of non-scientific-based jury members making subjective decisions on crop protection products' safety.

The argument was that the legal system should operate separately to the herbicide regulatory system.

However Bob Phelps, of lobby group Gene Ethics, said the court cases showed the need for an Australian review into glyphosate safety.

"The farm chemical regulator, Australian Pesticides and Vet Medicines Authority (APVMA), must immediately begin a formal safety review of Roundup herbicide and glyphosate its 'active' ingredient, with a focus on NHL and other terminal diseases," he said.


From the front page

Sponsored by