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Plaintiff calls for Appeal after Monsanto's Roundup Win in Philadelphia

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The only plaintiff to lose a Roundup trial in Philadelphia claims that key evidence linking Roundup to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was barred.

Philadelphia, PAAfter Monsanto's first Roundup trial win in Philadelphia, plaintiff Carl Kline claims that key evidence linking non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to the weed killer containing glyphosate was unable to be presented during the trial and he has appealed the ruling. A new Monsanto Roundup trial has been ordered.

In a post-trial motion filed March 15, Kline argued that the court’s entry and application of global orders regarding evidence in Philadelphia’s Roundup trials resulted in the jury receiving a skewed picture of scientific research on the Monsanto-produced weedkiller. To date, only Kline’s trial ended in a defense win in Philadelphia – the last three trials resulted in verdicts of $175 million, $3.5 million and a staggering $2.25 billion. Both sides agreed that the difference in this fourth Philadelphia trial is the evidence—or lack thereof-- regarding certain studies. Kline’s lawyer said the jury had not been allowed to hear key evidence, including a finding by the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization that glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, was likely capable of causing cancer. But the assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 was hit with a backlash from industry groups.

EPA Evidence

Judge Joshua Roberts allowed defendants to present the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, did not pose a health risk for people exposed to it. In February 2020, EPA found that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label. EPA also found that glyphosate is unlikely to be a human carcinogen. (Meanwhile, a federal appeals court in 2022 ordered the EPA to re-examine its 2020 finding. And a study in 2023 from Aimpoint Research finds that the loss of the widely used herbicide glyphosate would be costly to farmers, the economy, and the environment. The study was funded by Bayer.)

The plaintiffs asserted that the EPA evidence should not have been presented because it was irrelevant to the plaintiff’s claims of common-law negligence. And they further argued that the court improperly barred the plaintiffs from mentioning a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling finding issues in the EPA study. As reported by, the plaintiffs argued that, “The jury was left with a misleading presentation of the current state of the EPA’s findings on glyphosate and prevented from considering evidence that fairly rebutted Monsanto’s own reliance on EPA’s regulatory decisions concerning Roundup and glyphosate,” and that the court wrongly barred them from introducing evidence regarding an IARC study linking glyphosate to cancer.

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Evidence

The IARC classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015. This was based on “limited” evidence of cancer in humans (from real-world exposures that actually occurred) and “sufficient” evidence of cancer in experimental animals (from studies of “pure” glyphosate). IARC also concluded that there was “strong” evidence for genotoxicity, both for “pure” glyphosate and for glyphosate formulations. The Lancet said evidence of glyphosate’s link to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, lung, is limited in humans but showed sufficient evidence in animals.

PubMed Central (an official U.S. government website) published a 2020 study that said “recent statements from scientific organizations and court decisions have resulted in widespread public interest and concern over the safety of glyphosate, the most popular and effective herbicide used worldwide. Consequently, glyphosate-based products are under intense scrutiny from governments at all levels. It concluded that the use of glyphosate, and restrictions placed upon that use, must be carefully measured against economic, environmental and health repercussions… Over the last two decades, there has been increasing concern that GBHs may present a carcinogenic risk.”  In other words, money is a key factor.

No doubt Kline is hopeful that the above evidence will be allowed at his next trial.


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