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    Herbicide glyphosate under fierce scrutiny

    PARIS (AFP) – Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “probably” being carcinogenic.

    After the second US cancer victim on Wednesday won a payout victory against Monsanto over the weedkiller, here is the state of play regarding lawsuits and restrictions on the use of glyphosate around the world:

    A California court earlier this month found that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in Edwin Hardeman, 70, getting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after spraying the weedkiller on his garden for decades.

    On Wednesday, the jury found Monsanto had been “negligent by not using reasonable care” to warn of the risks of its product, ordering it to pay Hardeman USD75 million in punitive damages, USD5.6 million in compensation and USD200,000 for medical expenses.

    It comes after a San Francisco court in August 2018 judged that glyphosate weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro contributed to a groundskeeper’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    The jurors found that Monsanto acted with “malice” and ordered the company to pay USD289 million to Dewayne Johnson, who has two young sons and is in the end stages of his cancer, before the damages were reduced to USD78.5 million.

    German chemical giant Bayer, which has seen its stock shed almost 40 per cent of its value since it acquired Monsanto for USD63 billion in June 2018, has defended Roundup.

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