Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m in damages to a former school groundsman who says working with herbicides containing glyphosate caused him to develop cancer.
Predictably, Bayer, the former member of the IG Farben Cartel that recently bought Monsanto, is denying that glyphosate causes cancer. However, the toxic chemical has already been cited by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as being “probably carcinogenic to humans.” In a monograph published in March 2015, IARC specifically noted that its classification of the chemical had followed a “comprehensive review of the latest available scientific evidence”.
Long term, with literally thousands of other lawsuits lined up whose claimants are similarly saying that using glyphosate caused them to develop cancer, the outcome of this case could potentially have set an important precedent. Meantime, with Monsanto saying it intends to appeal the ruling, the fight seems set to go on.