Bayer AG hoped it could rely on science to establish the safety of its Roundup weedkiller. But it has clearly been no match for a good lawyer after a jury awarded more than $2 billion in damages to a couple who claimed the herbicide contributed to their cancer.
The verdict, the third in potentially thousands of cases involving the glyphosate-based herbicide, is the starkest reminder yet that the German life sciences group gravely miscalculated the risks in acquiring the product’s maker, Monsanto Co., last year.
The case again highlights the difference between science and the law. Bayer says Roundup is safe when used as directed, citing a recent study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and 40 years of prior scientific data. It accuses the plaintiff’s lawyers of cherry-picking evidence and drawing on an unfavorable World Health Organization assessment which, it says, conflicts with scientific consensus.
That’s the snag with lawyers — they can be selective and persuasive. Bayer is a chemicals company, and a foreign one at that. It isn’t going to cut a sympathetic figure.
Read full, original article: When Science Is No Match for a California Lawyer