Agrochemical company Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million in damages after allegedly causing one man's cancer and opting not to warn consumers of the dangers of its products.
In the first resolved case of it's kind, Mansanto defended against claimant and school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson - who was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014.
The jury found the company's weedkillers - which Johnson had used professionally for a number of years - contributed 'substantially' to the development of his illness.
After the verdict was announced Friday, Johnson's lawyer Brent Wisner said: "When you are right, it is really easy to win."
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are divided on the status of glyphosate, the chemical found in Mansanto's products Roundup and RangerPro.
While the WHO has deemed the chemical 'probably carcinogenic', the EPA maintains that the product can be used safely.
Conversely, the state of California lists glysophate as a known carcinogen - and Wisner said the evidence against Mansanto was 'overwhelming'.
Not only did jurors find Mansanto's products to be definitively linked to Johnson’s suffering but it indicated that the company had acted with 'malice' by deliberately concealing the carcinogenic properties of its products.
Despite the fact that Johnson is one of 5,000 US residents with cases against the brand, Mansanto Vice President Scott Partridge maintains that 'the jury got it wrong'.
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Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.
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