Monsanto fined $289m in first Roundup cancer trial outcome

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One of the UK's largest DIY retailers is reviewing the sale of Roundup weedkiller products amid mounting concerns about their use, after a USA jury found the herbicide had caused a terminally ill man's cancer.

The 46-year-old who was awarded the damages, said he developed a deadly form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spending years spraying large amounts of Monsanto's Roundup and other glyphosate herbicide brands on school grounds.

Dewayne Johnson was awarded 289 million dollars (£226 million) by a state jury in the U.S., who found manufacturer Monsanto had failed to adequately warn of the risks of using Roundup, which contains the world's most widely-used herbicide glyphosate.

Johnson's attorney Brent Wisner said the verdict "shows the evidence is overwhelming" that the product poses danger. "Hopefully, this thing will get the attention it needs so folks can make a good choice".

Dewayne Johnson had regularly used the weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro while working as a groundskeeper at a school in California.

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In a statement the company said: "Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label".

In the meantime, Cummins said his group looks forward to the next steps in its own lawsuit against Monsanto, which charges the company has long misled consumers about the safety of Roundup for humans and pets. "This won't cure DeWayne Lee Johnson's cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company".

Jurors found on Friday that Monsanto had acted with "malice" and that its weed killers contributed "substantially" to Mr Johnson's terminal illness.

The jury ordered the agricultural multi-national to pay $250 million in punitive damages together with other costs that brought the total figure to nearly $290 million.

"The jury sent a message to the Monsanto boardroom that they have to change the way they do business", said Robert F. Kennedy Jr - an environmental lawyer, son of the late USA senator and a member of Johnson's legal team.

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"We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family", Partridge said.

After the verdict, the company- which vowed to appeal - issued a statement saying it stands by the studies that suggest Roundup does not cause cancer.

They said he even once contacted Monsanto after developing a rash, and wasn't told of any risk, the AP reported.

"Claims against Monsanto received a boost in 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer - part of the World Health Organization - announced that two pesticides, including glyphosate, are 'probably carcinogenic to humans'". California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

- The jury ordered agrochemical giant Monsanto to pay almost $290 million for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer.

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A Californian jury said Monsanto should have warned users about the dangers of its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers.

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