Aussie agriculture body rejects U.S. court's weedkiller cancer ruling

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-15 11:32:36|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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CANBERRA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia's National Farmers' Federation (NFF) has dismissed the finding of a Californian court that a common weedkiller causes cancer, saying it created a "dangerous precedent."

A San Francisco court in August awarded 46-year-old former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson 289 million U.S. dollars after ruling that Roundup, a common weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, caused him to develop terminal cancer.

The jury found that Monsanto knew of the product's health risks and acted "with malice or oppression" by failing to warn users.

However, the NFF said the court decision was "in blatant ignorance" of science.

"It is concerning that such a significant legal decision has been made in blatant ignorance of the findings of the world's most authoritative sources on human health," NFF president Fiona Simpson said in a media release.

"It is used broadly because science has established that it is safe to use."

Glyphosate, the active chemical in Roundup and world's most common herbicide, is classified as "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization (WHO) but is approved for use in Australia and the United States.

Simson said that the chemical has significant environmental benefits.

"Through the use of glyphosate, farmers are able to practice minimum tillage, protecting soil structure and nutrients and ultimately increasing the storage of soil carbon," she said.

"No other herbicide has been tested to the lengths that glyphosate has. After four decades of evaluations, no regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate to be carcinogenic."