Opening statements began in federal court in San Francisco on [July 9] in the trial for the first of thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto alleging its weed killer product Roundup causes cancer.
The plaintiff’s opening argument focusing on choice — attorney Brent Wisner telling the jury Monsanto took away his client’s ability to choose by not disclosing the potential dangers of Roundup weed killer.
“If you don’t give someone a choice and somebody gets hurt or, God forbid, gets cancer, then I personally believe and I think you will as well that you should be responsible for the consequences of that,” Wisner said.
Lee Johnson worked for Benicia School District in 2012, becoming the integrative pest manager. Wisner says a large part of Johnson’s job was to spray Roundup — often 50 to 60 gallons at a time. After two years, Johnson developed lesions on his body — later diagnosed as Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
The defense says Johnson’s cancer developed long before he used Roundup.
“The scientific evidence is overwhelming that Glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” said Monsanto’s defense attorney, George Lombardi.
The single most relevant study, best study, study of human beings who, like Mr. Johnson, are licensed pesticide applicators concluded glyphosate is not associated with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” said Lombardi.
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