[14 May/The Country]

A jury has ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay a combined US$2.05 billion (NZ$ 3 billion) to a couple claiming that the company’s fertiliser cause their cancer. Alva and Alberta Pilliod both contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, of which the Oakland court jury concluded the fertiliser caused. This is the third courtroom loss for Monsanto in California since August. Owners of Monsanto, Bayer, said in a statement that they will appeal the verdict. The company reported none of the Californian verdicts have been considered by an appeal court and that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers the weedkiller safe.  The EPA reaffirmed its position in April, saying that the active ingredient glyphosate found in the weedkiller posed “no risks of concern” for people exposed to it by any means.