The latest lawsuit against the manufacturer of a popular weed killer has resulted in a $2 billion award for a husband and wife who claimed Roundup caused them both to contract cancer.
The California jury award against Monsanto, maker of the glyphosate-based herbicide, is the third recent court decision of its kind – and the largest.
An Alameda County jury ruled that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, Calif. was due to their use of Roundup. The award includes $1 billion each in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.
Bayer, which owns Monsanta, denies any link between cancer and its product.
"Bayer is disappointed with the jury's decision and will appeal the verdict in this case, which conflicts directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's interim registration review decision released just last month, the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, and the 40 years of extensive scientific research on which their favorable conclusions are based," the company said in a statement.
Bayer announced plans to appeal the verdict. It is currently appealing a March $80 million dollar award and a $289 million dollar award to two other California plaintiffs who blamed their cancers on their use of Roundup. The $289 million dollar award was reduced to $78 million on appeal.
More than 13,000 other lawsuits related to Roundup have been filed against Monsanto. Roundup is widely used in agriculture and by parks departments and consumers to controls weeds.
The European Food Safety Authority concluded that glyphosate “is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans” and proposed a new safety measure that will tighten the control of glyphosate residues in food.
However, other sources have linked the prodduct to multiple health problems, including cancer, liver disease, chronic kidney disease and an increased risk of Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.