Agri-giant Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, was ordered to pay over $10 billion dollars in damages after losing a high-profile lawsuit over claims its popular weedkiller Roundup causes cancer.
Edwin Hardeman of California sued Monsanto after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, alleging his decades of exposure to Roundup was responsible. After separate legal phases determined liability and damages, the jury unanimously found Monsanto failed to warn consumers of risks and awarded $80 million in compensatory damages plus $73 million in punitive damages.
This massive fine is believed to be the largest jury award in product liability history. But it’s just the first of potentially thousands of similar Roundup cancer lawsuits facing Monsanto, which continues to insist their product is safe when used as directed.
We’ll explain the science behind the claims that Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate can cause cancer when exposure is prolonged. We’ll also look at allegations Monsanto tried to cover up the risks and influence regulators and research on glyphosate safety.
With billions more in potential liability and a tarnished public image, this verdict deals a huge blow to Monsanto and new owner Bayer. It could change the entire agricultural industry if other juries determine Roundup must carry stronger cancer warnings.