Jury Determines that Roundup Causes Cancer
Monsanto's Efforts to Discredit International Agency's Findings Fail
San Francisco, CA – A jury reached a verdict in a personal liability lawsuit against Monsanto today, finding that Monsanto's glyphosate product, Roundup, caused a school groundskeeper's non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The jury not only found that Roundup caused the plaintiff's cancer, awarding him $39.3 million in pain and suffering and economic damages, but also that Monsanto acted "with malice or oppression" and awarded an additional $250 million in punitive damages.
The victory comes despite a concerted effort by Monsanto to discredit the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), that, in 2015, concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic." Center for Food Safety (CFS) has been actively defending IARC's scientific conclusion against Monsanto's attacks, including intervening in a lawsuit brought by Monsanto against the listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen under California's Proposition 65.
"This verdict represents a victory of medical science over corporate propaganda, and will hopefully help other victims of Monsanto's hazardous Roundup herbicide achieve some measure of justice," said CFS Science Policy Analyst Bill Freese. "If only it had come sooner, much suffering could have been averted. EPA found glyphosate could possibly cause cancer in the 1980s, then was strong-armed into reversing its position by Monsanto."
For more than two decades, CFS has worked to address the health and environmental harms of Monsanto's pesticide and GMO products, including and especially Roundup, though legal, policy, science, and campaign efforts. CFS has repeatedly challenged the approval of glyphosate-resistant, genetically engineered crops in litigation on behalf of consumers and farmers. CFS was one of the first organizations to raise awareness about how Roundup Ready crop systems have fostered herbicide-resistant weeds and dramatically increased the use of the herbicide.
In 2016, CFS submitted testimony to EPA on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, citing internal EPA memos that document EPA's original finding that glyphosate is possibly carcinogenic, as well as Monsanto's intense pressure on EPA that led the Agency to alter its findings. CFS has litigated many cases against Monsanto, including the first-ever Supreme Court case on the impacts of GMOs and pesticides, Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms. Currently, CFS is also challenging the Trump administration's approval of Monsanto's latest pesticide-GMO product, XtendiMax, a volatile dicamba pesticide.