Will complicated science, ‘rising anti-business sentiment’ cripple Bayer’s glyphosate defense?

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Image: Reuters
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The epic $2.055-billion jury verdict against Monsanto over accusations that its blockbuster weed killer Roundup causes cancer is just one step in a very long legal road. The company has now lost three trials in a row and is still facing lawsuits from 13,400 farmers, gardeners and other users.

If you’re in a gambling mood, you probably would do worse than to bet that Monsanto will lose every one of those cases.

…. Rising anti-business sentiment in society at large can hardly be kept out of the jury room. Concerns about our poisoned environment are ever present. The credibility of scientists has been undermined by partisan political attacks and more general fears that we’ve lost our ability to ensure that technological advances work to our advantage.

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It’s possible that when the science underlying a liability claim is equivocal, jurors may look for other grounds to come to a judgment — favoring a couple like [Alva and Alberta Pilliod], who are both in their 70s and facing the dismal prospects of living their lives in the shadow of cancer, against a big corporation with a rapacious image.

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