Monsanto ordered to pay US$289m to cancer patient

  • Legal
  • 1st September 2018

Article by Amanda Doyle

Company vows to appeal decision

A JURY has ruled in favour of a terminally ill cancer patient who claimed that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller caused his cancer.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, concluded that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. This led to hundreds of lawsuits being filed in the US against Monsanto, claiming that the company’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weedkillers cause cancer. Dewayne Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial because he has less than two years to live.

Johnson regularly used Ranger Pro weedkiller while working as a school groundskeeper in Benicia, California. He also had two accidents, including when a hose broke, when he was completely drenched with the product. Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014.

Johnson’s lawyers claimed that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate is carcinogenic but didn’t include a cancer warning label on the product. Monsanto has denied that glyphosate causes cancer and argued that the weedkiller could not have caused Johnson’s illness, as cancer takes at least 2.5 years to develop, and his symptoms appeared too quickly. The company suggested that his cancer was inherited.

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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