Medicine

US judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial

US judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial

"He's a good guy, and he has an awesome family - knowing that he's gonna pass away because of this kills you", said Brent Wisner, Johnson's attorney.

Wisner added, "Between now and then, it's just nothing but pain".

Lee Johnson worked for Benicia School District in 2012, becoming the integrative pest manager. When the wind was gusty, it would cover his face, Wisner said. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014 at the age of 42.

In a statement, Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said the company would "continue to defend these lawsuits with robust evidence that proves there is absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer".

The trial was expedited due to Johnson's poor health, who will likely spend the last days of his life in a court room.

The company Monsanto faces 5,000 lawsuits across America as it's alleged that one of their products, Roundup - which is still sold in the United Kingdom - can cause cancer.

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The herbicide came under increasing scrutiny after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a "probable human carcinogen" in 2015. Farmers in California, the most agriculturally productive state in the USA, use it on more than 200 types of crops.

While Chhabria's ruling is not binding on them, state court judges have been closely following the federal litigation and expert hearings. Homeowners use it on their lawns and gardens.

But he said a sensible jury could conclude, based on the results of four experts he allowed, that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans.

Monsanto also pointed to sections of the opinion that questioned the plaintiffs' evidence.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says glyphosate is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions. A draft report by the agency a year ago concluded the herbicide is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

The judge wanted to determine whether the science behind the claim that Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had been properly tested and met other requirements to be considered valid. The agency noted that scientific studies from other countries concluded the same. He was never warned that the weed killer was harmful.