Monsanto Co. lost a court ruling that will allow key witnesses to testify in a trial over whether the Creve Coeur-based company’s weed killer Roundup causes cancer.
Despite expressing misgivings, a federal judge said Tuesday there was enough evidence to allow testimony from three expert witnesses linking glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It’s a boost for the plaintiffs, who need expert witnesses to help their case. Although no jury trial is scheduled, Tuesday’s decision could add pressure for Monsanto to settle the case.
More than 300 suits have been filed in San Francisco federal court blaming Monsanto for failing to warn consumers about the risk of using the top-selling weed killer.
Monsanto denies a connection, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.
Glyphosate, developed in the 1970s and sold today in more than 160 countries, came under scrutiny after the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
Many government regulators have rejected a link between glyphosate and cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says glyphosate is safe for humans when following label instructions. In a draft report last year, the agency concluded the herbicide is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.