In San Francisco, a federal judge ruled that exposure to Monsanto Co’s Roundup herbicide was a leading cause of a local resident’s development of non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, Edwin Harderman, 70 years old. The trial moves to phase 2 which will determine the financial liability of Monsanto.
The verdict was determined by a 6 person jury and declared on their fifth day of deliberation. Hardeman’s lawsuit is one of many that will be upcoming for Monsanto. There are more than 760 lawsuits filed against Monsanto around the country regarding their product RoundUp. However, this decision does not set precedent for other cases because each has its own unique circumstances.
However, this is the second time though that Monsanto has been found guilty in San Francisco of their Roundup causing non-Hodkin’s lymphoma. Last year, a different jury awarded DeWayne Johnson, a Bay Area gardener, $289 million when he also developed non-Hodkin’s lymphoma from Roundup. A judge then decreased the amount awarded to $78 million. Monsanto has appealed. Monsanto firmly believes that science will show that the chemical found in its herbicides glyphosate does not cause cancer. The World Health Organization’s International Agency For Research of Cancer published a report showing a link that the chemical does. However, the link shows that it comes from heavy use of the chemical (like on farms) and not from limited exposure (like on home gardens).
Monsanto is notorious for having a myriad of legal trouble, warranting its own Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject. Lawsuits against Monsanto stem all the way back to the Vietnam war with the chemical Agent Orange. It has also been in legal hot water regarding chemicals such as Dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and alachlor. Monsanto has also had legal trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission when it inaccurately reported its earnings over a three year period. They were fined $80 million.