A California jury has awarded more than $2 billion in damages to a couple who claimed Roundup weed killer was responsible for causing their cancer.
The Oakland jury awarded $1 billion each to Alva Pilliod and his wife Alberta, in addition to other damages, after finding that the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - was the likely culprit for the couple's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Alva had been diagnosed as having the cancer in 2011, and Alberta in 2015.
The couple told the jury that they had been spraying Roundup on various properties for decades.
Monsanto is a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, who said they plan on appealing this verdict and insisted that glyphosate-based products were safe.
"We are disappointed with the jury's decision and will appeal the verdict in this case which conflicts directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) interim registration review decision released just last month, the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, and the 40 years of extensive scientific research on which their favorable conclusions are based," the statement read.
Studies from the World Health Organization have found that glyphsate is "probably carinogenic to humans," which has lead the American Cancer society to list the product as a "probable carcinogenic."
The judgement against Monsanto marks the third victory for plaintiffs who allege the weedkiller caused their cancers. In March, a federal jury in California concluded that glyphosate had been a "substantial factor" in the 70-year-old plaintiff developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Last August, a third California jury awarded a groundskeeper $289 million in state court after finding the weedkiller had been responsible for his cancer.
Bayer faces more than 13,000 lawsuits in the U.S. over the alleged cancer risk.