USA – According to Dailybruin.com, alumnus from UCLA were part of the legal team that won a major victory over Monsanto’s weed-killer Roundup. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper for a school in California who used Roundup for years and was later diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Roundup is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture. Monsanto not only sells the product but also genetically engineered seeds for corn and other crops that are resistant to Roundup. This way the company could sell both the seed and the weed-killer and profit from both.
Monsanto promoted its product by claiming that it was extremely safe, or “safer than table salt.”
However, research has shown that the product, which is designed to be able to penetrate through the surfaces of plants, is also able to get through human skin. The result is that exposure to Roundup can damage a person’s DNA.
In Dewayne Johnson’s case, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and determined that the company was liable for Johnson developing cancer. The plaintiff’s argued that documents from the company indicate that Monsanto was aware of the fact that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was potentially dangerous to humans.
The initial jury award in the case was for $289.2 million, but later, the judge lowered the punitive damages so that the total damages amounted to $78 million. The case still has encouraged other plaintiffs to file their claims against the company.
Documents that came out in the case encouraged the European Union to change its policy on Roundup.
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