Another verdict has been issued against Roundup weed killer this week, as a federal jury in San Francisco found that the product was a “substantial factor” in causing cancer in a Sonoma County man. The six-member jury’s unanimous verdict was not a decision of liability for Bayer AG, who acquired Monsanto and the company’s popular glyphosate-based weed killer last year. The case revolves around 70-year old Edwin Hardeman, who learned that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in 2015 and had been using Roundup on his property for nearly 30 years. Phase two of the case began yesterday and will be heard by the same jury.
“We are disappointed with the jury’s initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer,” Bayer said in a statement. “We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.”
The second phase of the case will center on liability and whether Bayer will ultimately be held responsible for awarding damages to Hardeman. Roundup weed killer has also been the center of other litigation. Last year a California groundskeeper accepted $78 million in damages in relation to a similar court case centered on the correlation between cancer and glyphosate and is currently on appeal. Bayer is currently facing lawsuits from more than 11,000 individuals in regards to glyphosate products.
“The decision in phase one of this trial has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances. We have great sympathy for Mr. Hardeman and his family, but an extensive body of science supports the conclusion that Roundup™ was not the cause of his cancer. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them,” Bayer stated.