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US mother of young cancer victim loses suit over Roundup weedkiller

·2-min read

A mother who said her young son developed a rare form of cancer because of his exposure to Roundup lost her court battle in California, lawyers said Tuesday.

Ezra Clark was only four years old when he was diagnosed in February 2016 with Burkitt's lymphoma, a particularly aggressive kind of cancer that affects the lymph nodes.

According to the complaint filed in a Los Angeles court by his mother, Destiny Clark, the youngster was directly exposed when she sprayed her property with the Monsanto-made herbicide.

But a jury in Los Angeles found there was no evidence linking the weedkiller with the boy's illness.

The ruling was welcomed by Bayer, Monsanto's parent company.

"The jury's verdict... is in line with both the assessment of the relevant regulatory authorities worldwide and the extensive scientific evidence from four decades," a company statement said.

"We have great sympathy for Ezra Clark and his family, but the jury has carefully weighed the scientific evidence on this case and concluded that glyphosate is not the cause of his illness."

Lawyers for Destiny Clark said they were examining their options for an appeal.

"This was a very unusual case. The jury was asked only whether the boy’s exposure to Roundup caused his cancer. There was no evidence of Monsanto’s conduct allowed," said a statement.

Bayer has been plagued by problems since it bought Monsanto, which owns Roundup, in 2018 for $63 billion, and inherited its legal woes.

The German firm has set aside more than $15 billion to deal with a wave of US lawsuits linked to the weed killer.

Bayer maintains that scientific studies and regulatory approvals show Roundup's main ingredient glyphosate is safe.

Glyphosate is nonetheless classified as a "probable carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

hg/caw

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