A California jury recently awarded a couple $2 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million for pain and suffering and medical expenses for damages they sustained due to prolonged exposure to the weed killer, Roundup.
The couple, both in their mid-seventies, used Roundup for approximately 30 years for residential landscaping and both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – the husband was diagnosed in 2011 and his wife four years later. They are both currently in remission.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published research in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health indicating that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, “is probably carcinogenic to humans.” In 2017, California added glyphosate to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Unfortunately, Roundup manufacturer, Monsanto, continues to insist that no regulatory agency in the world has found glyphosate to be a carcinogen, and cites more than 800 scientific studies that support its claim. Despite Monsanto’s claim, this makes the third Roundup lawsuit that Monsanto has lost in California.
In the first case, a school groundskeeper was awarded $78.5 million after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. In the second lawsuit, a California federal court awarded more than $80 million to a Sonoma man who had used Roundup on his property for more than 25 years, and was subsequently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015. Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, currently faces more than 8,000 lawsuits alleging that glyphosate causes cancer.
In response to the recent verdict, Bayer released a statement ,claiming that the couple had long histories of illnesses that raised their risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer also denies that glyphosate is carcinogenic or has ever been linked to cancer.