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Does Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer Cause Cancer?
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Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

Summary: A landmark case against Monsanto will go to trial on June 18. 

DeWayne Johnson, 46, was told by doctors that he only had months to live, and according to The Guardian, the husband and father’s last wish is “to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate.”


Johnson is expected to take the stand on June 18th in a trial against Monsanto. He is suing the multinational agriculture corporation, saying that for decades it hid that its popular Roundup weed killer products caused cancer.

“We look forward to exposing how Monsanto hid the risk of cancer and polluted the science,” Michael Miller, Johnson’s attorney, said. “Monsanto does not want the truth about Roundup and cancer to become public.”

Last week, Judge Curtis Karnow declared that jurors will hear evidence that Monsanto’s Roundup caused Johnson’s cancer and that the company suppressed evidence of its products’ risks. Karnow ruled that the jury will be allowed to consider punitive damages and that the trial will proceed for June in San Francisco.

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“The internal correspondence noted by Johnson could support a jury finding that Monsanto has long been aware of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicides are carcinogenic … but has continuously sought to influence the scientific literature to prevent its internal concerns from reaching the public sphere and to bolster its defenses in products liability actions,” Karnow wrote. “Thus there are triable issues of material fact.”

The Guardian called Johnson’s case a “landmark,” and Johnson is the first of thousands of plaintiffs who sued Monsanto because they believed Roundup had caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. If Johnson’s lawsuit succeeds, then that could mean years of litigation and costly settlements for Monsanto, similar to what had happened to Johnson & Johnson regarding its baby powder. However, if Johnson loses, then that could deter other cases.

Monsanto has pledged that their Roundup products are safe, but the lawsuits challenge that position. According to The Guardian, “The litigants cite an assortment of research studies indicating that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicides, a chemical called glyphosate, can lead to NHL and other ailments. They also cite research showing glyphosate formulations in its commercial-end products are more toxic than glyphosate alone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.”

Monsanto has denied that its products cause cancer, and they stated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory authorities have supported their claims.

“Glyphosate-based herbicides are supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health and environmental effects databases ever compiled for a pesticide product,” Monsanto stated on its website. “Comprehensive toxicological and environmental fate studies conducted over the last 40 years have time and again demonstrated the strong safety profile of this widely used herbicide.”

What do you think of Monsanto? Let us know in the comments below.


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