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POLITICO reports:

Attorneys for Monsanto and plaintiffs in a high-stakes case will meet a final time this week before a judge decides which scientific evidence presented in the case is credible enough for a jury to consider.

Plaintiffs are suing the agribusiness company, contending that Monsanto's weed killer Roundup, a widely used weed killer by farmers and gardeners, causes cancer. Last week, Monsanto and attorneys representing cancer patients put experts on the stand that presented opposing evidence about the cancer risks of glyphosate, the herbicide used in Roundup.

Missing data, no problem: Lorelai Mucci, an epidemiologist and professor at Harvard University, testified on Friday that there was no evidence of a positive association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Mucci also defended the credibility of a study that found no link between the herbicide and cancer risk - the Agricultural Health Study - that Monsanto has relied on as a key piece of evidence. Plaintiffs have tried to discredit the study's results by pointing to a decreased response rate (37 percent of initial respondents didn't return for more questioning).

Mucci testified that the missing data didn't cause selection bias and investigators accounted for a drop in response rates, which is natural for any study of this kind. "When we looked specifically at cancer incidence in the population, there was virtually no difference between those who did and did not complete the questionnaire," Mucci said.

The judge's role: The judge overseeing asked witnesses on both sides multiple questions. At one point, he posed a mathematical question by drawing on a chalkboard. On Wednesday, the parties will appear in court for final arguments. His decision is expected in the next few months.

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