Federal Jury Finds Bayer's Roundup Weed Killer Caused A California Man's Cancer

"We continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer", said an online statement from Bayer.

A US jury on Tuesday found Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused cancer, a blow to the company eight months after another jury issued a $289 million verdict over similar claims in a different case.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said Tuesday's decision showed that the August jury verdict was not an aberration and that the Hardeman case could be an indication of what may happen in future similar cases.

California resident Edwin Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup for 25 years.

Evidence is nearly certain to resurface that Monsanto ghostwrote scientific literature and influenced regulators to claim that Roundup is safe. That award was later reduced to $US78 million and is on appeal.

Roundup became the company's leading headache after the June 7 completion of the Monsanto deal that Baumann entered to remain a global competitor in seeds and agricultural products.

But Bayer points to more recent findings from regulators around the world, especially in advanced economies like the US, Europe and Canada, and reams of scientific studies as proof of the safety of its product.

Instead, a San Francisco jury ruled after the first phase that a man who sprayed the herbicide on his property for decades contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a result.

Jurors had been asked to decide whether the ingredient glyphosate - the world's most widely-used herbicide that has always been linked to cancer by environmentalists - was a "substantial factor" in the man's condition. Together with its existing holding in Bayer, Temasek would then own about 4 percent in Bayer after the transaction.

Bayer released the following statement on the Hardeman verdict.

After Bayer lost its first US trial over Roundup, Tuesday's decision probably edges the company one step closer to a settlement, according to analysts.

But last August, in the first state trial over whether Roundup can cause cancer, California jurors awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

"It seemed like this trial would go a little bit differently, it would be a little bit more fact-based, little bit more science-based", Berzhanin said.

Bayer probably assumed settlements of as much as 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) when assessing the purchase, said Markus Manns, a fund manager at Union Investment, one of Bayer's top 15 shareholders, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the United States, more than 750 products contain it. "We feel confident. a jury. will see that Monsanto has committed 40 years of corporate malfeasance", a Hardeman attorney says. "Among the four World Health Organization agencies that have evaluated the safety of glyphosate, IARC is the only World Health Organization entity to find an association between glyphosate and carcinogenicity", it said in a statement.

  • Anthony Vega