In a blow to Bayer, judge to allow controversial evidence in Roundup cancer trials
Published: January 29, 2019
Category: Pesticide Hazards, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
A federal judge overseeing lawsuits alleging Bayer AG’s Roundup weedkiller causes cancer recently ruled to allow evidence of Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes attempts to sway scientists and regulators about the herbicide’s safety.
During a hearing in San Francisco, federal court U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria called his decision “probably most disappointing for Monsanto,” the Missouri-based division of Bayer that manufactures glyphosate-based Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide.
Chhabria said plaintiffs could introduce some evidence of Monsanto’s attempts to ghostwrite studies and influence the findings of scientists and regulators during the first phase of upcoming trials. He said documents, which showed the company taking a position on the science or a study introduced during the first phase, were “super relevant.”
The company had argued much of this evidence was a “sideshow” that would distract jurors from their claimed scientific evidence.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that some evidence of corporate misconduct was inextricably linked to Monsanto’s scientific claims. The judge agreed with them. Plaintiffs’ lawyers believe corporate misconduct evidence was critical to a California state court jury’s August 2018 decision to award $289 million in a similar case. The award was later reduced to $78 million.
The next Roundup cancer trial is scheduled to begin February 25; plaintiff Edwin Hardeman claims glyphosate caused his cancer.
There are another 9,300 similar cancer lawsuits against Bayer/Monsanto.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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