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Nearly four years after the first-ever trial over allegations that exposure to Roundup herbicide causes cancer a new trial was underway on Tuesday, pitting a 34-year-old man suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) against Monsanto owner Bayer AG.
Allan Shelton, a lifelong resident of Kansas City, Missouri., was diagnosed with NHL in May 2016, a little more than a year after international cancer scientists affiliated with the World Health Organization classified the active ingredient in Roundup, a chemical called glyphosate, as a probable human carcinogen.
Shelton’s lawsuit against Monsanto mirrors tens of thousands of other U.S. lawsuits filed since the 2015 classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
His lawyers allege Monsanto knew of scientific research showing its product could cause cancer but failed to warn consumers, instead working to suppress and manipulate information about Roundup dangers.
Monsanto knew there would be a “day of reckoning,” but was undeterred, Shelton lawyer Roe Frazer told the jury in opening statements. “Their sole motive was money, and lots of it.”
Shelton, a slender African-American man, watched as Frazer told jurors that Shelton began spraying Roundup at the age of 10 and sprayed regularly at home and at work throughout his youth.