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Agri-Pulse reports:

A federal appeals court has upheld $25 million in damages awarded to a California man who contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma after decades of exposure to Roundup.

In a major victory for plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court verdict that found Roundup was a "substantial factor" in causing his NHL and that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act does not
pre-empt state law claims.

"FIFRA does not expressly preempt Hardeman's claims because FIFRA's requirement that a pesticide not be misbranded is consistent with, if not broader than, California's common law duty to warn," the court said in its 2-1 decision.

The court also said "sufficient scientific evidence was presented to the jury to support that the association between glyphosate and cancer was 'knowable' by 2012."

Roundup manufacturer Monsanto, the court said, "argues it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the failure-to-warn claims because it did not know and could not have known that glyphosate caused cancer in 2012 (when Hardeman stopped using Roundup)."

Hardeman lawyer Aimee Wagstaff issued a statement saying Hardeman "is very pleased that the Ninth Circuit affirmed the jury's verdict. The court ruled that 'substantial evidence of Monsanto's malice was presented to the jury, supporting punitive damages.' Internal emails showed that Monsanto knew of the risk of cancer and failed to warn consumers like Mr. Hardeman. Today is significant for consumers holding pesticide companies like Monsanto accountable."

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, said it was "disappointed with the court's decision as the verdict in this case is not supported by the evidence at trial or the law. In particular, we believe the 9th Circuit decision is wrong on the issue of federal preemption as it is not possible for Monsanto to comply with federal law under which EPA has determined that a cancer warning is unwarranted and improper, and also comply with state law failure-to-warn claims seeking the very cancer warning EPA forbids."

The company said it will "pursue all legal options, including petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review this case." Finally, Bayer said it continues "to stand strongly behind the safety of Roundup, a position supported by four decades of extensive science and the assessments of leading health regulators worldwide that support its safe use."

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