Lawsuits alleging Roundup caused cancer can move forward

US courts to hear cases that weed-killer sold in UK causes cancer

US courts to hear cases that weed-killer sold in UK causes cancer

But serious doubts remain as the World Health Organization in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans".

"The scientific evidence is overwhelming that glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer", Lombardi said during his opening statement.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last September concluded glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic to humans.

"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.

Citing expert testimony from three doctors who spoke on plaintiffs' behalf, Chhabria wrote in his ruling, "the opinions of these experts, while shaky, are admissible".

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There are hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts, and Chhabria is handling more than 400 of them. The agency noted that scientific studies from other countries concluded the same.

Former groundskeepers Dewayne Lee Johnson filed the lawsuit in 2016 after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Brent Wisner, his attorney, told the court that Johnson sprayed large quantities of the herbicide from a tank that can hold as much as 50 gallons. Farmers in California have been using the weed killer on more than 200 types of crops. At times, when the wind was strong, the chemical would cover Johnson's face. When a hose broke once, it soaked his entire body.

There was "at least a strong argument that the only reasonable conclusion one could draw right now is that we don't yet know" whether the herbicide is causing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he said. Homeowners use it on their lawns and gardens. The company notes that cancers "take many years to form", and says Johnson wasn't exposed to Roundup long enough to make a connection between the product and his diagnosis. The Johnson case is taking place on its own because attorneys feared he would die before the proceedings could begin.

Another federal judge presiding over hundreds of lawsuits like Johnson's is deciding whether the claim that Roundup weed killer can cause cancer is supported by good science.

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