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USA - Chemical Industry: Monsanto's Glyphosate "Roundup weed-killer" goes on trial in US with billions at stake - by Aimee Picchi

After it was introduced in the 1970s, Roundup was promoted as an "herbicide that gets to the root of the problem."

Now, four decades later, manufacturer Monsanto will face a lawsuit that seeks to get to the root of another problem: whether the active ingredient in the weed-killer is to blame for a California man's terminal cancer. If Monsanto fails to persuade the court that its product isn't to blame, the agricultural company's flagship product could take a hefty hit.

Billions in revenue could be at stake for Monsanto and its new corporate parent, German chemical giant Bayer, which closed its $60 billion acquisition earlier this month. While Monsanto doesn't break out sales of glyphosate -- the active ingredient in Roundup -- the product delivered $4.8 billion in revenue in 2015. In its latest fiscal year, Monsanto cited higher global sales of glyphosate for helping lift total revenue by 8 percent.

Monsanto declined to comment on the potential sales impact, citing the trial proceedings. In a statement earlier this month, it told CBS News it denied the allegations.

"We have empathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the scientific evidence clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause. We look forward to presenting this evidence to the court," it said.

Note EU-Digest: Unfortunately the EU recently cleared the use of this weed killer for the next five years, after a heated debate over whether it causes cancer or not. 

Regardless of this decision, given the legal battle Monsanto is now facing in the US, the EU Parliament, despite the obvious intense lobby by the chemical industry, should immediately halt the use of  the weed-killer glyphosate in Europe, and take another close look at the dangers this weed killer poses for European consumers. Better late than sorry.

Read more: Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer goes on trial with billions at stake - CBS News

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