U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria will spend a week hearing from experts to help decide whether there is valid scientific evidence to support the lawsuits’ claim that exposure to Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Chhabria is presiding over more than 300 lawsuits against Monsanto Co. by cancer victims and their families who say the company long knew about Roundup’s cancer risk but failed to warn them.
The plaintiffs must first persuade Chhabria, however, that he should allow their epidemiologists and other doctors to testify to a jury that Roundup can cause cancer. Many regulators have rejected the link, and Monsanto vehemently denies it and says hundreds of studies have found glyphosate — Roundup’s active ingredient — is safe.
Chhabria will not determine if the cancer connection exists, but whether the claim has been tested, reviewed and published and is widely accepted in the scientific community.
“It’s game over for the plaintiffs if they can’t get over this hurdle,” said David Levine, an expert in federal court procedure at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
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