Monsanto is found guilty in Roundup trial

Monsanto has denied any link between the glyphosate the active ingredient in Roundup and cancer

Johnson's lawyers sought and won 39 million dollars (£30 million) in compensatory damages and 250 million dollars (£196 million) of the 373 million dollars (£292 million) they wanted in punitive damages.

Johnson used Roundup and a similar product, Ranger Pro, as a pest control manager at a San Francisco Bay Area school district, his lawyers said.

"I want to thank everybody on the jury from the bottom of my heart", Johnson, 46, said during a press conference after the verdict. "I'm glad to be here to be able to help, the cause is way bigger than me". Monsanto will appeal the verdict and has insisted the product is safe.

Hundreds of lawsuits claiming Roundup causes cancer have been given the green light to proceed to trial, despite Monsanto claims that there is no connection between glyphosate and cancer. He sprayed large quantities from a 50-gallon (about 3.8 litres) tank attached to a truck, and during gusty winds, the product would cover his face, said Brent Wisner, one of his attorneys.

Wisner called the ruling the "tip of the spear" of litigation likely to come.

Johnson's is the first of hundreds of cancer-patient cases against Monsanto and could be a bellwether of what lies ahead for the company.

Robert F. Kennedy Jnr - an environmental lawyer, son of the late U.S. senator and a member of Johnson's legal team - hugged Johnson after the verdict. "This won't cure DeWayne Lee Johnson's cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company".

"The jury got it wrong", Monsanto Vice-President Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco. "It is the widely used herbicide in the world, it's the most widely studied herbicide in the world". "The verdict today does not change the science".

Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts while his attorney during the Monsanto trial
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts while his attorney during the Monsanto trial

The NFU's deputy president, Guy Smith, who is also an active livestock and arable farmer, said: "We're in the same place as when they ruled it was safe to use".

In 2017, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority assessed glyphosate as safe to use if label instructions were followed.

"Monsanto and every chemical company in the world have clearly been told that they are responsible as corporate citizens".

"Its most common use in United Kingdom farming is to kill weeds in the autumn before seeds are planted". About 80 percent of his body is now covered in lesions, CNN reported, and his doctors said he is unlikely to live past 2020. Monsanto claims the chemical is effective over 300 variants of weeds across over 125 countries.It's not just Monsanto that markets glyphosate-based weed-killers, there are 30-35 glyphosate-based herbicides sold in India under different brand names by domestic and foreign companies.

Despite its denials of any links between its products and ill health effects, Monsanto has already suffered hits to its reputation in light of the controversy. It was expedited because court filings indicated that Johnson was dying.

Another Roundup cancer trial is scheduled to begin this autumn in St Louis, Missouri.

In June, Monsanto became a unit of Bayer AG, which further consolidated its monopoly over the global seed and chemical market.

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