California jury to hear Roundup case on pesticide cancer link

California jury to hear Roundup case on pesticide cancer link

Dewayne Johnson's lawsuit is the first case to go to trial among hundreds of lawsuits saying Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Johnson used Roundup for two years from 2012 as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district near San Francisco, his lawyer Timothy Litzenburg told AFP.

Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of two, says he is sick because of contact with Roundup, the top-selling weed killer made by the USA company.

A key to Johnson's case will be convincing jurors that Monsanto's pesticide - whose main ingredient is glyphosate, a substance some say is dangerously carcinogenic - is responsible for the illness.

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

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

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The stakes are high for Monsanto, which could reportedly face massive losses should a jury order it to pay out damages over the product. Farmers in California, the most agriculturally productive state in the US, use it on more than 200 types of crops.

Hundreds of lawsuits alleging Roundup weed killer caused cancer cleared a big hurdle Tuesday when a USA judge ruled that cancer victims and their families could present expert testimony linking the herbicide to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Homeowners use it on their lawns and gardens.

A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because nearly all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.

The company is facing hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts that claim otherwise. Glyphosate is also listed by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer as a probable human carcinogen.

But later, regulators in the United States and the European Union concluded it was safe. The report noted that science reviews by numerous other countries had reached the same conclusion.

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