The controversy surrounding Roundup and its link to cancer has been ongoing for several years, with various studies and reports presenting conflicting evidence. While some studies have identified a correlation between cancer and glyphosate exposure, others have not. This has led to a heated debate between those who believe that Roundup is safe and those who believe it poses a significant risk to human health.
The legal battles over Roundup have only added to the controversy, with thousands of individuals filing lawsuits against Monsanto (now acquired by Bayer), claiming that exposure to the herbicide caused their cancer.
A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is expected to have significant implications for future lawsuits against Bayer. In this article, we will examine some of the key cases that have been filed against Bayer in relation to Roundup, including their outcomes and the factors that played a role in the rulings.
We will also discuss the potential implications of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and what it could mean for future lawsuits.
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IARC and EPA: Opposing Views on Glyphosate
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO). The IARC designated glyphosate, the principal component in Roundup, as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
In a 2017 research, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in people. The EPA cited studies from the National Cancer Institute, the European Chemicals Agency, and other organizations that found no significant evidence linking glyphosate to cancer.
However, the IARC and EPA’s differing opinions on glyphosate have been a subject of controversy and have played a significant role in the Roundup lawsuits. The plaintiffs in the Roundup cases argued that the IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen was more credible and scientifically sound than the EPA’s conclusion.
High-Profile Lawsuits Against Roundup Manufacturers
1. Johnson v. Monsanto
The Johnson v. Monsanto case, also known as Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, was a pivotal moment in the Roundup litigation. Dewayne Johnson was a groundskeeper who filed a Roundup weed killer lawsuit against Monsanto, claiming that the company’s Roundup weed killer caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In August 2018, a San Francisco jury awarded Johnson $289 million in damages, finding that Monsanto acted with malice and negligence in failing to warn consumers about the potential risks of Roundup.
The Johnson case was the first of thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, that alleged Roundup caused cancer. The verdict was seen as a significant blow to Monsanto and a victory for plaintiffs in the Roundup litigation. However, the judge in the case later reduced the damages awarded to Johnson to $78 million, which was accepted by Johnson, according to npr.org.
The Johnson case set the stage for future Roundup lawsuits and was a wake-up call for Bayer. The case demonstrated that juries may be willing to award significant damages in Roundup cases, and that companies like Monsanto may be held accountable for failing to warn consumers about potential health risks.
The case also revealed internal company documents that suggested Monsanto had engaged in efforts to influence scientific studies and downplay the potential risks of Roundup.
2. Hardeman v. Monsanto
Hardeman v. Monsanto was another high-profile case in which the plaintiff claimed that his exposure to Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The case was brought by Edwin Hardeman, a California resident, who used Roundup on his property for over two decades. In 2016, he initiated a lawsuit against Monsanto after being diagnosed with non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s in 2015.
The case went to trial in February 2019, and the jury awarded Hardeman $80 million in damages. The jury found that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing Hardeman’s cancer, and that Monsanto failed to warn him of the risks associated with the use of the herbicide. The jury’s verdict was later reduced to $25.3 million by the judge in the case, according to a Reuters report.
The verdict in Hardeman v. Monsanto was significant because it was the first Roundup case to go to trial in federal court. The decision was seen as a victory for plaintiffs and a blow to Monsanto, which faced thousands of similar lawsuits across the country. The verdict also set the stage for future Roundup cases in federal court, as it provided a roadmap for plaintiffs to argue their cases and win damages.
The Ninth Circuit’s Decision
According to a report published in the Center for Food Safety, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in a Roundup case in June 2022 that could have significant implications for future lawsuits involving the herbicide.
The court encouraged the EPA to rethink its judgment that Roundup does not cause significant harm to humans or the environment. This ruling is crucial because it opens the door to possible future claims claiming that Roundup caused damage.
In the same month, the Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s appeal in another Roundup case, leaving the plaintiff’s verdict to stand. This judgment emphasizes Bayer’s possible legal liability.
Implications for Future Lawsuits
The Ninth Circuit’s decision has significant implications for future lawsuits involving Roundup and other toxic chemicals. The decision establishes a precedent in which businesses can be held accountable for neglecting to notify customers about potential hazards linked with their products.
It also establishes that juries can consider scientific evidence in determining whether a product caused a plaintiff’s illness, even if the scientific consensus is not yet definitive.
This decision may encourage more lawsuits against Monsanto and other companies that produce toxic chemicals. Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute adds to the evidence linking long-term glyphosate exposure to an increased risk of cancer. This new study is likely to reduce the likelihood of judges ruling in favor of Bayer in Roundup and glyphosate lawsuits.
It also highlights the need for companies to be transparent about the potential risks associated with their products. Companies should ensure that they provide adequate warnings to consumers and should take steps to minimize potential harm.
In conclusion, the ongoing controversy surrounding Roundup and its link to cancer has been the subject of intense debate for several years. Despite conflicting evidence from various studies and reports, recent legal battles have resulted in mixed outcomes for plaintiffs seeking compensation for their illnesses.
However, the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen is a significant turning point in the Roundup litigation. The ruling means that plaintiffs will no longer have to prove that Roundup caused their cancer, only that they were exposed to it.
This decision has important implications for future lawsuits against Bayer, as it could lead to more successful outcomes for plaintiffs seeking compensation for their illnesses.