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U.S. sides with Bayer in appeal of Roundup cancer lawsuit

In a friend of the court brief filed Friday with a San Francisco-based appeals court, the Environmental Protection Agency said it reviewed and approved the warning label on the weed-killing product, and that a jury finding based on California law should be reversed. The Department of Justice joined the EPA in weighing in on the only federal jury ruling on Roundup.

Over the summer, a U.S. district judge reduced a settlement to $25 million for a man who claimed his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had been caused by years of using Roundup. But the judge did not reverse the jury finding that Roundup was defective because its label did not include a cancer warning. Monsanto maintains Roundup is safe. And in May, the EPA said it "continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen."

Bayer stated in an email that the company is "encouraged" that the U.S. government and other parties opted to offer legal views in support on the company's appeal. "The number and stature of these parties speaks clearly to the importance of the issues in dispute in this case to a diversity of interests including governments, health care providers, farmers and manufacturers," a Bayer spokesperson stated.

"Associated Industries of Missouri is also a plaintiff in litigation challenging the State of California's labeling requirement," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. "The California law would require companies to put statements on their products that they do not believe are true. In this case, glyphosate has been found safe by the EPA and numerous studies. California seeks to require labeling that the product is known to the State of California to cause cancer, based on the findings of one study, even though those findings are contrary to all other studies. We believe that is simply wrong and could impact many other industries if allowed to stand," he said.

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