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Monsanto to pay $2 billion in weed killer cancer case

Monsanto to pay $2 billion in weed killer cancer case

A jury in California on 13 May ordered Bayer-owned Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion damages to a couple that sued on grounds the weed killer Roundup caused their cancer.

The award was the latest in a series of court defeats for Monsanto over Roundup. The company insists the glyphosate-based product is not linked to cancer.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate developer Monsanto was convicted in the United States in 2018 and 2019 of not taking necessary steps to warn of the potential risks of Roundup -- their weed-killer containing the chemical, which two California juries found caused cancer in two users.

It is described as the world's most popular weedkiller. In the US, more than 750 products contain it.

Glyphosate use worldwide has risen almost 15-fold since 1996, when so-called "Roundup Ready" crops, genetically engineered to resist glyphosate, were introduced.

In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organization's cancer agency, concluded that it was "probably carcinogenic to humans".

It is still inconclusive.

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