Homebase reviewing weedkillers after USA cancer lawsuit

The school groundskeeper applied the Roundup weed killer up to 30 times per year as part of his job responsibilities. His doctors say its unlikely he'll live past 2020

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.

Monsanto, which is facing up to 5,000 similar lawsuits across the USA, said it would appeal against the verdict.

But that issue was sidestepped during the trial, as Johnson's lawyers argued that his cancer was caused by the combination of glyphosate and other chemicals present in Roundup.

A California jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay almost $290 million Friday for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer.

Dewayne Johnson (C) hugs one of his attorneys, next to lawyer and member of his legal team Robert F Kennedy Jr (R), after the verdict was read in the case against Monsanto at the Superior Court Of California in San Francisco, California on August 10, 2018. A San Francisco jury ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to the former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease.

The 46-year-old who was awarded the damages, said he developed a deadly form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spending years spraying large amounts of Monsanto's Roundup and other glyphosate herbicide brands on school grounds.

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto - which vowed to appeal the decision - acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Mr Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, causes cancer and says decades of scientific studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use.

Its active ingredient, glyphosate, kills all plant life and since Monsanto's patent expired in 2000 it can be found in most commercial and industrial weed killers worldwide.

Ms Sage said in light of the United States decision she would be asking the EPA to consider adding Roundup to a list of hazardous substances up for reassessment.

Environmentalists say the weedkiller is linked to cancer, although the claim is strongly denied by manufacturers and the European Union has approved the chemical for use. Emails sent the duo seeking comment on the California court's verdict and government plan of action remained unanswered at the time of publishing this article.As per the Indian food regulator FSSAI, the maximum permissible residue levels of glyphosate as of December past year are: 1 mg/kg in tea, 0.01 mg/kg in rice and 0.05 mg/kg in meat.

He added that the verdict sent a "message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits".

He was awarded $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.

The US Environmental Protection Agency says Roundup's active ingredient is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions. In 2015, the World Health Organization's cancer research agency classified the herbicide as "probably carcinogenic [cancer causing] to humans".

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