Renewable Farming

Jury finds Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller caused man’s cancer

For the second time, a California jury has found that a man developed cancer from Roundup exposure. The first verdict was handed down in in August in a San Francisco county court. Today’s separate verdict came from a jury in U.S District Court in San Francisco. 

March 19, 2019 — The U.S. District jury will next consider whether Bayer, which purchased Monsanto last August, is liable — and what damages should be imposed. In this second phase of the trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys will present evidence that the company hid dangers about its product.

One such claim by Monsanto for years is that Roundup is harmless to humans because people’s cells don’t contain an enzyme pathway commonly called the Shikimate Pathway, which glyphosate inhibits. However, the human digestive tract contains billions of microbial organisms, many of which contain the Shikimate pathway. When impacted by glyphosate residues in food or direct exposure, many of these internal bacteria lose their ability to perform vital digestive functions.

This fact has been known for years, starting with evaluations of glyphosate’s impact on soils: Shifting soil ecosystems from bacterial-fungal balance to fungal dominance. Roundup was first patented as a bactericide.

If you have a Wall Street Journal online subscription, here’s the link to today’s article by Sara Randazzo and Ruth Bender.

Separate health-related lawsuits against glyphosate have been mounting. The total has passed 11,200, filed by farmers and other Roundup users. The U.S district court verdict arrived shortly after release of a European-based epidemiological analysis of about 300,000 farmers and other users and non-users found a link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoid malignancies. You can read that finding in GMWATCH here.

March 20, 2019: GMWATCH published an update on this verdict today.