Judge rules glyphosate cancer cases can move forward

Judge rules glyphosate cancer cases can move forward

A USA judge in San Francisco says evidence seems weak that Roundup weed killer causes cancer, but experts can still make that claim at trial.

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. Monsanto is a unit of Bayer AG.

In response to Chhabria's ruling, Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge noted the judge excluded some of the plaintiffs' experts and called the opinions of those he is allowing to testify "shaky".

The herbicide came under increasing scrutiny after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a "probable human carcinogen" in 2015.

"The scientific evidence is overwhelming that Glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer", said Monsanto's defense attorney, George Lombardi.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last September concluded glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic to humans.

The outcome of Johnson's case will not affect the hundreds of other lawsuits in state and federal courts, but it may serve as an indicator of how the others might go.

The company had told Chhabria in March that none of the plaintiffs' experts satisfied scientific or legal requirements for admissibility and urged the judge to dismiss the cases.

"We look forward to taking the next step - getting our clients their day in court", he said in a statement.

She said: 'It's time to hold Monsanto accountable for putting this unsafe product on the market'.

The lawsuits allege that glyphosate, the herbicide in the widely used Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - and that Monsanto didn't warn consumers or regulators about that alleged risk.

This case is a separate one from a class-action suit that involves more than 300 plaintiffs who argue that their exposure to Monsanto's weed killer caused them to also develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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