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CEI: Court Decision against Weed Killer Based on Bad Evidence Could Raise Food Prices, Harm the Environment

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Last week, a jury in California awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who claimed glyphosate, an ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, caused his cancer. Despite disputes over the science behind the claim, the jury found that glyphosate contributed to the man’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini said:

“It’s understandable that the jury was swayed by the plaintiff’s tragic situation, but there is no good evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. However, trial lawyers are more than willing to bring such cases, so they can collect hefty legal fees and set the stage for more cases. There are already thousands of such lawsuits filed, so this case is just the beginning. Unfortunately, farmers and consumers will pay the price. Glyphosate and other herbicides eliminate the labor-intensive task of manually removing weeds or tilling the soil. Herbicides also have important environmental benefits because they make no-till agriculture possible, which reduces soil erosion and runoff that could otherwise adversely impact nearby waterways. If this decision eventually leads to a ban or voluntary elimination of this product, it will likely make farming more expensive and difficult, raise prices for food, and harm the environment by increasing the need to till the soil for weed control.”