U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay its highest damages yet in a massive lawsuit over the popular weedkiller Roundup. A jury ordered Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion in punitive damages to Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer after using Roundup on their properties for decades.
Monsanto is owned by German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. The main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, glyphosate, is said to cause cancer.
Attorneys estimate that there are thousands of similar cases against Roundup pending in courts around the country. Last year, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using Roundup.
The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Johnson, also has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The EPA says that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, but other scientific studies and the World Health Organization have found that human exposure can in fact lead to cancer.
Democracy Now! speaks with attorney Brent Wisner, co-lead trial counsel for Alva and Alberta Pilliod.
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