A Missouri state court jury reached a defense judgement for Bayer-owned agrochemical giant Monsanto in the first Roundup herbicide trial to be held in St. Louis County, near the company's old US headquarters.
The judgement was delivered on the same day that the jury heard final arguments in the trial, which began on August 3. This is Monsanto's sixth trial victory in lawsuits concerning accusations that glyphosate, a chemical used in Roundup, causes cancer. All three Roundup cases have resulted in judgements in favour of the plaintiffs.
Aside from being the first Roundup trial in the St. Louis region, it was also the first time a jury heard claims from three plaintiffs in a Roundup lawsuit at the same time. The plaintiffs, a lady and two men in their 60s and 70s, allege they were exposed to glyphosate while spraying weeds in their yards.
Their lawyers argued that Monsanto had internal knowledge of glyphosate's alleged carcinogenic properties, but withheld that information from the public in order to protect sales of a popular brand. Monsanto successfully countered that scientific studies allegedly linking glyphosate exposure to cancer are fundamentally flawed and that numerous other studies found the chemical to be safe.
After the judgement was delivered, Monsanto released a statement expressing sorrow for the plaintiffs' illnesses, but reaffirming the arguments offered to the jury that Roundup did not cause their cancer.
According to the corporation, the jury's findings are consistent with professional regulators' judgments globally, as well as the overwhelming data from four decades of scientific research establishing that Roundup can be used safely and is not carcinogenic.
According to the plaintiffs' counsel, the trial revealed a history by Monsanto over several decades of discounting and minimizing recognized linkages between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He went on to say that the struggle will go on for the many thousands of individuals who have suffered as a result of this company's failure to warn.
While Monsanto has resolved the majority of the hundreds of Roundup-related claims brought across the United States, the firm still faces multiple forthcoming trials regarding glyphosate exposure.
Another trial in Florida state court is set to begin in late September, and another in late October in the City of St. Louis, which is typically seen as a more favourable venue for plaintiffs than St. Louis County. Several further trials are planned for the St. Louis region in 2023.