Monsanto trial: cancer patient says he used herbicide for three decades


Edwin Hardeman, the first person to challenge Monsanto’s Roundup in a federal trial, testified Tuesday that he sprayed the herbicide for nearly three decades and got it on his skin before he was diagnosed with cancer.

The 70-year-old Santa Rosa man has alleged that his exposure to Roundup, starting in 1986, when he began applying it to control weeds and poison oak on his properties, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that affects the immune system. In court on Tuesday, Hardeman explained that when he used Roundup, the world’s most popular herbicide, it would at times leak onto him as he sprayed it for several hours a day.

Hardeman’s high-stakes case is considered a “bellwether” trial for hundreds of other plaintiffs in the US with similar claims, which means the jury verdict could affect future litigation and possible settlements. Monsanto, now owned by German pharmaceutical company Bayer, is facing more than 9,000 similar lawsuits across the US.

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