Roundup Caused Man's Cancer: Jury

"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found past year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people", said Cook.

A USA jury on Tuesday found Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused cancer, a blow to the company eight months after another jury issued a $289 million verdict over similar claims in a different case.

The Hardeman's case is considered a landmark trial for hundreds of other plaintiffs in the U.S. with similar claims, which means the verdict could affect future litigation and other cancer patients and families.

"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", Bayer said in a statement.

Edwin Hardeman, the plaintiff in the case, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in 2015 after using Roundup to kill poison oak and weeds on his property for over 20 years.

"As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up", Mr Cook added.

In August, a jury awarded $289 million in damages (later cut to $78 million) in a similar case brought by Californian school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. Monsanto's Roundup was the first glyphosate-based weed killer but is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are now available.

Shares in Bayer fell more than down 12pc in Frankfurt on Wednesday following the ruling.

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In some areas of Argentina, which uses large quantities of glyphosate for its vast soybean crops, there are nearly daily clashes between concerned residents and farmers for whom the product is indispensible.

Multiple national and worldwide agencies have identified Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, as a probable cause of cancer in humans, including the global Agency for Research on Cancer, which is an arm of the World Health Organization, and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Activist investor Elliott already holds a stake of less than 3 percent in Bayer, Reuters disclosed past year.

The second phase of the trial to weigh liability and damages will begin Wednesday.

Since Bayer's subsidiary, Monsanto, lost in last Aug's trial, investors have been viewing Bayer shares as high-risk stocks which they don't want to include in their portfolios.

U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria is overseeing hundreds of Roundup lawsuits and has deemed Hardeman's case and two others "bellwether trials".

As at yesterday's closing, Bayer's share price was 69.70 euros. In the USA, more than 750 products contain it. It has appealed a separate US court decision past year in favour of a man who used Roundup.

The EU's executive body, the European Commission, pointed to the approval of glyphosate by its two scientific agencies, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, which do not classify the substance as carcinogenic.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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