Jury orders Monsanto to pay $2bn to couple in Roundup cancer case

Monsanto must pay couple $2bn in largest verdict yet over cancer claims

A California couple was awarded more than $2 billion in damages on Monday after a jury agreed that the Roundup weed killer they had been using for more than three decades had caused them to get cancer.

A jury in Oakland ruled Monday that Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, was liable for the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) cancer of Alva and Alberta Pilliod.

Glyphosate, the basic component in Roundup, was found to be the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both Alva and Alberta Pilliod. And the company insists there is no link between Roundup and non-Hodgkins's lymphoma.

A federal jury in San Francisco previously ordered the weed killer maker to pay a man $80 million (NZ$121.7 million) and a San Francisco jury in August awarded $289 million (NZ$434 million) to a former greenskeeper, though a judge later reduced it. Thousands of similar cases are pending at the federal or state level.

Aston Villa vs. West Bromwich Albion - Football Match Report
The on-loan striker scored his 24th goal of the season in Saturday's first leg defeat before he was sent off. He said: "West Brom came with a gameplan to sit behind the ball and they capitalised on a mistake from us".

Bayer, inventor of Aspirin and maker of stroke prevention drug Xarelto and Yasmin birth control pills, faces US lawsuits from more than 13,400 plaintiffs over the herbicide's alleged cancer risk.

Bayer, which was chided by investors for the stock rout at the annual general meeting this month, has said the litigation has had no effect on strong demand from US lawn and garden owners for its glyphosate-based herbicides, adding that demand from USA farmers continued to be driven by the weather. At its recent annual meeting, a shareholder revolt ensued, with more than half of the shareholders voting against absolving management for its decision to acquire the St. Louis-based seed and pesticide company.

"Bayer is disappointed with the jury's decision and will appeal the verdict in this case", it said in a statement after Monday's verdict.

Bayer released a statement on its Twitter page after the jury's verdict in California and has repeatedly said that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is safe. "We can't do the things we used to do and we really resent Monsanto for that", Alberta Pilliod said at a press conference following the verdict. People who are not farm workers or groundskeepers are being exposed to the cancer-causing chemical.

Legendary actress and singer Doris Day dead at 97
Fellow actress Goldie Hawn said " Doris Day left us and took a piece of the sun with her" in an emotional Twitter message. The league continues to lobby on behalf of animal rights, while the foundation operates as an animal welfare charity.

Under a push to divest assets including its animal health division, Bayer late on Monday said it had agreed to sell US sun care brand Coppertone to Nivea owner Beiersdorf, for $550 million. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is on appeal.

"The verdict in this trial has no impact on future cases and trials, as each one has its own factual and legal circumstances", the company said. The European Chemicals Agency and other regulators around the globe have also found glyphosate not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

On Friday, the French newspaper Le Monde broke the news that the public relations agency FleishmanHillard had compiled a list of over 200 journalists, politicians and scientists showing their positions on Monsanto, in an effort to help Bayer launch a media counter-offensive.

Bayer's share price has lost half its value since it reached s 52-week high of $32.80 a share.

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