Renewed concerns about Roundup weedkiller as Bayer loses US$2 billion suit

Amid growing local concern over the safety of Roundup, the most popular weedkiller in the world, news came on Monday that a jury in California has awarded more than US$2 billion to a couple who said the product was responsible for their cancer.
In March, Minister of Agriculture Audley Shaw said an investigation had been launched to determine whether Jamaica should impose a ban on the importation of the product.
Last month, a multi-agency technical working group was established to investigate the concerns surrounding the use of the Roundup herbicide in Jamaica.
This is the third time that German pharmaceutical group Bayer has been ordered to pay damages over its glyphosate-based herbicide.
Lawyers for the American couple, who are in their 70s, described the damages award as historic.
The jury ruled the company had acted negligently, failing to warn of  the risks associated with the product.
Bayer denied the allegations. 
It insists that Roundup is safe to use.
Jamaican farmers have been getting increasingly worried about whether Roundup is safe to use with Bayer facing allegations that the product causes cancer.
Minister of Agriculture Audley Shaw has admitted that the issue is cause for concern.
Bayer was last year ordered to pay US$289 million in damages to an American who claimed that the product caused his cancer and that the corporation failed to warn him of the health hazards from exposure.
Bayer now faces more than 13,400 US lawsuits over Roundup's alleged cancer risk.

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