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BY: Todd Shepherd Follow @shepherdreports
A California jury awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who claimed RoundUp, the worldwide best-selling herbicide and an important tool in large-scale agriculture production, gave him cancer in a verdict that will have broad impact.
Size - Award - Stakes - Battle - Glyphosate
The size of the award demonstrates the stakes in a scientific battle over glyphosate, the key ingredient in the weed killer RoundUp. However, it is also likely to renew scrutiny on an international cancer research group that has come under fire from the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology in what may be one of the most politically charged science battles outside of the global warming debate.
Monsanto, the producer of RoundUp, has said it will appeal Friday’s verdict, according to numerous media reports. Meanwhile, Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, was trading down about ten percent on Monday’s market open as investors reacted to the news. Another class action lawsuit along the same lines is expected to open in a federal court later this year.
People - RoundUp - Home - Product - Herbicide
While most people are familiar with RoundUp as a retail home and garden product, it is the most widely used herbicide worldwide because it helps large-scale agricultural producers increase crop yield. Monsanto holds the patents on numerous types of "RoundUp-ready" seeds genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, meaning the herbicide can be applied to the entire crop to kill unwanted weeds while the intended crop thrives.
Key to the success of Johnson's lawsuit was work from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the testimony of Chris Portier, a scientist who formerly worked there. In 2015, the agency released a "hazard determination" which said glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic."
Member - World - Health - Organization - IARC
Because it is a member of the World Health Organization, IARC has received both direct and indirect funding from U.S. taxpayer dollars, but the agency...
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