Pharmaceutical group Bayer has dismissed claims that an ingredient present in weed killers is carcinogenic.
The German firm, which owns agriculture big Monsanto, says herbicides containing glyphosate are protected.
On Friday, Monsanto was ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a person who claimed the merchandise prompted his most cancers.
A Californian jury mentioned Monsanto ought to have warned customers in regards to the risks of its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers.
Bayer accomplished its $66bn takeover of Monsanto in June.
“On the premise of scientific conclusions, the views of worldwide regulatory authorities and the decades-long sensible expertise with glyphosate use Bayer is satisfied that glyphosate is protected and doesn’t trigger most cancers,” a Bayer spokesperson instructed AFP News company.
Bayer didn’t reply to a request from the BBC for remark.
The landmark lawsuit was the primary to go to trial alleging a glyphosate hyperlink to most cancers.
The claimant within the case, groundsman Dewayne Johnson, was recognized with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. His legal professionals mentioned he recurrently used a type of RangerPro whereas working at a faculty in Benicia, California.
He’s amongst greater than 5,000 comparable plaintiffs throughout the US.
Glyphosate is the world’s commonest weedkiller. The California ruling may result in a whole bunch of different claims towards Monsanto.
The corporate mentioned it intends to attraction towards the decision.
What’s glyphosate and is it harmful?
Glyphosate was launched by Monsanto in 1974, however its patent expired in 2000, and now the chemical is offered by varied producers. Within the US, greater than 750 merchandise comprise it.
In 2015, the Worldwide Company for Analysis on Most cancers, the World Well being Organisation’s most cancers company, concluded that glyphosate was “most likely carcinogenic to people”.
Nonetheless, the US Environmental Safety Company (EPA) insists it’s protected when used rigorously.
The European Meals Security Authority (EFSA) additionally says glyphosate is unlikely to trigger most cancers in people.
Final November 2017 EU international locations voted to resume the licence of glyphosate regardless of campaigns towards it.
BBC North American correspondent James Cook dinner reported that in California – the place a choose lately dominated that espresso should carry a most cancers warning – the agriculture business sued to forestall such a label for glyphosate, although the state lists it as a chemical recognized to trigger most cancers.
What occurred within the groundsman case?
Jurors discovered on Friday that Monsanto had acted with “malice” and that its weed killers contributed “considerably” to Mr Johnson’s terminal sickness.
Following an eight-week trial, the jury ordered the corporate to pay $250m in punitive damages along with different prices that introduced the overall determine to nearly $290m.
Mr Johnson’s lawyer, Brent Wisner, mentioned the jury’s verdict confirmed that the proof towards the product was “overwhelming”.
“When you’re proper, it’s very easy to win,” he mentioned.
How did Monsanto react?
“The jury acquired it flawed,” vice-president Scott Partridge mentioned outdoors the courthouse in San Francisco.
In a written assertion, the corporate mentioned it was “sympathetic to Mr Johnson and his household” however it could “proceed to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year historical past of protected use”.
“Right now’s choice doesn’t change the truth that greater than 800 scientific research and evaluations – and conclusions by the US Environmental Safety Company, the US Nationwide Institutes of Well being and regulatory authorities world wide – help the truth that glyphosate doesn’t trigger most cancers, and didn’t trigger Mr Johnson’s most cancers,” it added.