After opening arguments kicked off in California state court on Monday for a Bay Area man's landmark lawsuit alleging that Monsanto's popular weedkiller Roundup caused him to develop cancer, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that hundreds of unrelated but similar cases against the agrochemical company can also proceed to trial.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco concluded that although he believes the evidence presented by attorneys representing the cancer patients and their families, "seems too equivocal to support any firm conclusion that glyphosate," the active ingredient Roundup, causes in cancer, the matter should be taken up by a jury. As Reuters noted, his decision "followed years of litigation and weeks of hearings."
It also follows the first day of trial for DeWayne "Lee" Johnson's suit in California's San Francisco Superior Court. Johnson is a 46-year-old father of three who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of working as a groundskeeper for school district, a position which regularly exposed him to a pair of Monsanto products containing glyphosate.
Although the state of California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO)—have classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, U.S. and European regulators continue to defy scientists and anti-pesticide activists' warnings by allowing farmers to keep spraying the world's most common herbicide.