SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – “Monsanto knew” its weedkiller Roundup was carcinogenic yet sold it anyway, the lawyer for an American retiree said on the last day of a trial to determine the agriculture giant’s culpability for his cancer.
The company’s attorney meanwhile denied the allegations and accused Monsanto’s critics of concocting a conspiracy, as arguments drew to a close and the jury began its deliberations midday on Tuesday.
The same San Francisco jury previously found that a quarter century exposure to Roundup, whose principal ingredient is controversial chemical glyphosate, was a “substantial factor” in giving 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In phase two of the trial, they must determine whether Monsanto is liable and if so, assess damages.
“This company for the last 40 years manipulated science, manipulated public opinion,” Hardeman’s lawyer Jennifer Moore said.
Despite numerous studies, “they kept selling Roundup and making money off it because that’s the bottom line for Monsanto,” she added of the company, which was bought last year by Germany’s Bayer.
“Nothing has stopped this company… your job is to say ‘No more, it stops today,’” she urged the jurors.