LOS ANGELES – A jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man who alleges that his terminal cancer was caused by his exposure to the company’s signature Roundup herbicide, which contains glyphosate, local media reported on Friday.
Dewayne Johnson contends that his cancer was caused by his frequent use of Monsanto’s Roundup while working as a groundskeeper for the San Francisco school district.
The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California determined that Monsanto did not warn consumers of the cancer risks involved in using products containing the herbicide glyphosate.
The jury also concluded that the failure to give the necessary warnings was a “substantial factor” of Johnson’s disease, who is 46 years old and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.
Johnson’s physicians said during the trial that he was unlikely to live past 2020.
Glyphosate is a herbicide that has created great controversy throughout the world for its suspected damaging effects on human health and the environment.
Scott Partridge, vice president at Monsanto, said in a statement that the company would appeal the jury’s decision.
“Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews – and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world – support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer,” Partridge said.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, however, classified glyphosate in 2015 as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Local media recalled that this is the first of hundreds of lawsuits that Monsanto will face in the United States regarding the suspected carcinogenic effects of glyphosate.