San Francisco, California (ABC) — The verdict has been delivered in a landmark case that could have effects that would change the entire agriculture industry.

A California jury has decided that Monsanto knew about the health hazards of its Roundup weed killer when it was used by 37-year-old Dewayne Johnson. Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma after spraying Roundup weed killer for two and a half years and sued the company, saying Roundup caused his cancer. The jury recommended Monsanto pay Johnson over 289 million dollars in total.

Johnson wept as the jury sided with him.

The lawsuit was the first to go to trial among hundreds filed in California and in federal courts claiming Roundup causes cancer — a claim that the maker, Monsanto, denies. Jurors say the company should have provided a warning label of the health hazards.

The specific products named were “Round Up Pro” and “Ranger Pro.”

Johnson is reported to have hugged his attorneys after hearing each of the verdicts read aloud by Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos in a San Francisco Courtroom.

Judge Ramos Bolanos announced the award given by the jury.

She then thanked the jury:

Johnson expressed his gratitude at the over a quarter-of-a-billion dollar outcome.

Johnson’s attorney Mark Burton commented on the decision.


Meanwhile, Monsanto attorney George Lombardi says the chemical has been proven safe.


Farmers around the world are concerned about the outcome of this case and others like it, wondering if it could spell the beginning of the end for Roundup. Most farmers in our area use “Roundup Ready” corn and soybeans — seeds that grow crops that have been engineered to be resistant to Roundup — so that the weed killer can be sprayed on the field to kill weeds but not the crops.

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