The group Monsanto, a subsidiary of the German giant Bayer, was ordered Friday by the jury of a court in Philadelphia (north-east) to pay $2.25 billion in damages to a man who accused the weedkiller Roundup of being the origin of his cancer. John McKivison’s lawyer, Ron Miller confirmed to AFP that the jurors of this civil court in the state of Pennsylvania had awarded their client $2 billion in damages and $250 million in compensatory compensation.
The plaintiff claimed that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, was linked to the use of Roundup, the active ingredient of which is glyphosate. Bayer disputes the harmfulness of glyphosate. The group has indicated its intention to appeal the decision.
THE glyphosate was classified, in 2015, as a “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO).
For its part, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) indicated that it had not identified any “area of critical concern” in humans, animals or in the environment likely to prevent the authorization of the herbicide, while recognizing a lack of data.
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For Ron Miller, Bayer made “bad choices in this matter”. “The fact that they did not seek more to find an amicable agreement is a mystery. The group has reaffirmed its intention to go to trial each time it is attacked over the alleged effects of Roundup. He emphasized that he had won his case in several recent proceedings related to Roundup, based on “assessments from regulators and scientists who continue to consider this product safe.”
A previous conviction in Missouri
In mid-November, the jury of a court in Missouri (central United States) awarded Monsanto $1.5 billion in damages for the benefit of three Americans who had also blamed their non- Hodgkinian to years of using Roundup. The group also appealed this conviction.
According to Bayer, 113,000 of the approximately 165,000 proceedings initiated against Monsanto and related to the weedkiller have been resolved or declared inadmissible, to date. In June 2020, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant reached an amicable agreement covering, according to the company, approximately 75% of the 125,000 actions then in progress. The transaction provided for the payment of a total sum of between $10.1 and $10.9 billion.
Bayer also dedicated 400 million dollars to compensate people exposed to another herbicide, dicamba, and 820 million for disputes linked to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), so-called eternal pollutants.
In 2021, the company allocated an additional $4.5 billion to manage these procedures, bringing the total envelope to more than $16 billion.