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U.S. judge allows lawsuits over Monsanto's Roundup to proceed to trial


By Bellon

(Reuters) - A federal U.S. on Tuesday allowed hundreds of lawsuits alleging that Monsanto Co's glyphosate-containing weed-killer Roundup causes to proceed to trial, finding that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to hear the cases.

The decision by U.S. in San Francisco, California, followed years of litigation and weeks of hearings about the controversial science surrounding the safety of the glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's top-selling weed-killer.

Monsanto is a unit of , following the $62.5 billion takeover of the U.S. seed which wrapped up in June.

Chhabria in his 68-page opinion called the plaintiffs' expert opinions "shaky" and entirely excluded the opinions of two scientists. But he said the findings of four remaining experts were nevertheless admissible as a reasonable jury could conclude that glyphosate can cause in humans.

More than 400 farmers, landscape artists and consumers, whose lawsuits have been consolidated before Chhabria, allege Monsanto's weed-killer caused them to develop non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a originating in the lymphatic system.

Monsanto denies the allegations and in a statement said it would continue to defend the lawsuits with robust evidence that proves there is "absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer."

The company had told Chhabria in March that none of the plaintiff experts satisfy any scientific or legal requirements for admissibility and urged the to end the litigation.

and Aimee Wagstaff, two of the lawyers representing the people suing the company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monsanto points to more than 800 studies and reviews that conclude glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer.

The in September last year concluded a decades-long assessment of the risks of glyphosate and concluded the is not likely carcinogenic to humans. But the World Health Organization's cancer arm in 2015 classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

(Reporting by Bellon; Editing by and Marguerita Choy)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 00:50 IST