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August 16, 2018
Monsanto Vows Appeal After Jury Finds Glyphosate Responsible for Cancer Diagnosis

Last week, a California jury found that Monsanto products containing the herbicide glyphosate are responsible for a former groundskeeper's diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The verdict caused shares of German-based Bayer, which recently acquired Monsanto, to fall 11 percent. Monsanto said it will appeal the decision.


Monsanto was ordered to pay more than $289 million in damages to DeWayne Johnson, a groundskeeper who was diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup and other Monsanto products containing glyphosate.


"We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family. Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews—and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world—support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer," Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, said in a statement.


“We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others,” the statement continued.


Bayer declined to comment directly on the decision, but a spokesperson for the company said “the jury's verdict is at odds with science."


There are several other glyphosate related lawsuits pending as well as a federal class action lawsuit. Johnson’s case was the first to be considered by a jury.


In June of this year, a California judge affirmed an injunction preventing California regulators from requiring warning labels stating glyphosate is a carcinogen. The judge found research the attorney general provided from the International Agency for Research on Cancer did not provide enough proof that glyphosate causes cancer. "The overwhelming majority of agencies that have examined glyphosate have determined it is not a cancer risk," the judge wrote.


California has wanted to put misleading labels on glyphosate since the World Health Organization declared glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” However, an investigation by Reuters later found key information that supported the conclusion the pesticide does not cause cancer in animals had been omitted from the report.


In 2016, the EPA affirmed glyphosate does not cause cancer, and in 2017 a long-term study by the National Cancer Institute following 50,000 people over 20 years also showed no link between glyphosate and cancer.

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This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
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