Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Monsanto Lawsuit Over Cancer Claims Can Proceed, Federal Judge Rules

Monsanto Lawsuit Over Cancer Claims Can Proceed, Federal Judge Rules

A trial is underway this week in California as witnesses will begin to testify in the first case alleging that Monsanto's Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco followed years of litigation and weeks of hearings about the contentious science around the safety of glyphosate.

The company Monsanto faces 5,000 lawsuits across America as it's alleged that one of their products, Roundup - which is still sold in the United Kingdom - can cause cancer.

Depending on how the Roundup trial plays out, it's expected that Johnson's suit, which he filed in 2016, could open the floodgates for many more similar suits against the biotech giant-up to at least 4,000 of them, according to the Chronicle.

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.

Chhabria called the plaintiffs' expert opinions "shaky" and entirely excluded the opinions of two scientists.

Monsanto contests the allegations and in a statement said it would continue to defend the lawsuits with evidence proving there is "absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer".

A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

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

The ingredient in question is glyphosate, which California added to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer just previous year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says glyphosate is safe for humans when used in accordance with label directions. Glyphosate is also listed by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen.

A federal judge in Sacramento has blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

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