USA judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial

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The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria allows hundreds of lawsuits against Roundup's manufacturer, Monsanto, to move forward.

Chhabria's decision came in the first phase of litigation consolidated in his courtroom involving more than 360 plaintiffs.

"Throughout much of this case, the plaintiffs seem to have operated under the assumption that they can clear the general causation hurdle simply by showing that IARC's decision to designate glyphosate a probable human carcinogen is scientifically sound", he said.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that expert witnesses can claim in court that Monsanto's Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Meanwhile, Monsanto is facing 5,000 similar court cases nationwide.

The outcome of the trial could impact future cases as thousands of cancer patients have reportedly been exposed to Roundup.

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Before issuing his ruling, Chhabria spent a week in March hearing dueling testimony from epidemiologists.

Partridge added in his statement to NPR, "We have sympathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the science clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause".

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last September concluded glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic to humans. The report noted that science reviews by numerous other countries had reached the same conclusion. "It's time to hold Monsanto accountable for putting this unsafe product on the market", Wagstaff said. It has since been sold in more than 160 countries. Farmers in California, the most agriculturally productive state in the US, use it on more than 200 types of crops. Homeowners use it on their lawns and gardens.

In its defense, Monsanto said the allegations were not true. Monsanto has vehemently denied such a connection. The company asserted there are more than 800 scientific studies that can back up their position. Wisner says a large part of Johnson's job was to spray Roundup - often 50 to 60 gallons at a time.

Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of two, says he is sick because of contact with Roundup, the top-selling weed killer made by the USA company. After two years, Johnson developed lesions on his body - later diagnosed as Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The Johnson case is taking place on its own because attorneys feared he would die before the proceedings could begin.

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