Monsanto is doing what it can to move lawsuits over its weed-killer Roundup out of California, where it has lost three jury trials in a row.
The subsidiary of Bayer Pharmaceuticals filed a federal court motion this week, citing prejudicial state laws and news media coverage. Monsanto is facing about 13,000 lawsuits nationwide that claim the primary chemical in Roundup causes cancer.
Last month, a jury in California awarded more than $2 billion in damages to a couple who claimed Roundup weed killer was responsible for causing their cancer.
The Oakland jury awarded $1 billion each to Alva Pilliod and his wife Alberta, in addition to other damages, after finding that the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - was the likely culprit for the couple's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Alva had been diagnosed as having the cancer in 2011, and Alberta in 2015.
The couple told the jury that they had been spraying Roundup on various properties for decades.
Monsanto is a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, who said they plan on appealing this verdict and insisted that glyphosate-based products were safe.
In March, a federal jury in California concluded that glyphosate had been a "substantial factor" in the 70-year-old plaintiff developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
And in a third case from August of last year, a third California jury awarded a groundskeeper $289 million in state court after finding the weedkiller had been responsible for his cancer.
About ten-percent of the cases have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of San Francisco. He presided over the first trial that ended in March with an 80-million-dollar jury verdict against the St. Louis-based company.
Studies from the World Health Organization have found that glyphsate is "probably carinogenic to humans," which has lead the American Cancer society to list the product as a "probable carcinogenic."
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