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article imageCourt rules Monsanto can't dismiss farmer's cancer claim

By Karen Graham     Jul 4, 2016 in Environment
Honolulu - A federal judge has refused Monsanto's request to dismiss a claim brought by a former coffee farmer who claims the company's weed-killer, Roundup caused her cancer.
Christine and Kenneth Sheppard, are the former owners of Dragons Lair Kona Coffee Farm in Captain Cook on Hawaii's Big Island. From 1996 through 2004, the couple sprayed their coffee farm with Monsanto's Roundup. In 2003, Christine was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Courthouse News is reporting that Sheppard's case, like the lawsuit filed by three cancer-stricken farmers in Nebraska, is alleging that the agrochemical giant downplayed the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
Sheppard's attorney Michael Miller was quoted by West Hawaii Today as saying Monsanto has engaged in "a misinformation campaign" and the lawsuit will "force Monsanto to face the human consequences of their lies." He added that the Sheppard's are originally from England, and had always wanted to pursue their dream of owning a coffee farm.
In last week's hearing, U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright struck down Monsanto's claim that the lawsuit filed by Sheppard should be dismissed because it was filed outside the two-year statute of limitations for tort claims.
Seabright said, "it is not apparent on the face of the complaint that the statute of limitations has run, especially considering the allegations regarding the 2015 designation [of Roundup as a probable carcinogen] by the WHO."
This lawsuit comes a week after Monsanto filed a claim in California, seeking to prevent the addition of Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate from the state's list of known carcinogens.
More about Monsanto, coffee farmer, cancer claims, Roundup, disputed evidence
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