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And so on - Monsanto Roundup trial gets underway as jury hears competing arguments
A St. Louis jury on Wednesday heard opening statements in a new Roundup cancer trial that is the latest in a long line-up of coming courtroom battles over allegations that Monsanto’s popular weed killer causes cancer.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Gibbs Henderson told jurors that evidence in the case would persuade them that exposure to Roundup caused each of his three clients to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), while Monsanto lawyer Manuel Cachan said he would present evidence that would completely dispute any causal connection.
Henderson said in his opening statement that he expects Monsanto to rely heavily on assessments by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is “not likely” to be carcinogenic. But he said he and other lawyers representing the plaintiffs will show the jury a large body of scientific evidence showing the herbicide does cause cancer and that Monsanto engaged in tactics designed to hide that information from consumers.
Henderson said the plaintiffs’ side will prove Monsanto was negligent and acted in “reckless disregard” for the plaintiffs’ safety with respect to its Roundup products.
“We think the evidence is going to show that reckless disregard,” said Henderson.
In response, Monsanto’s lawyer challenged the veracity of Henderson’s presentation: “The evidence will show that you heard some truths, you heard some half-truths and you heard some untruths,” Cachan said of Henderson’s opening statement. “We’re going to show you that.”
Cachan opened his remarks to jurors by introducing them to Donna Farmer, who attended the first day of the trial. Farmer is a longtime Monsanto scientist who now works for Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto in 2018.
“She has been working on glyphosate for 25 years. There are very few people alive on the planet earth who know more about the safety of glyphosate than Dr. Farmer,” Cachan said. “She’s going to be answering the questions you have about the safety of glyphosate.”
Read the rest of the story and stay tuned for more trial coverage at The New Lede.