Dying man suing Monsanto over cancer risks of one of their popular products

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, was testifying in his landmark suit against Monsanto about the cancer risks of the company's popular weedkiller, Roundup.

Johnson, a former Northern California school groundskeeper, testified recently that he was accidentally drenched in the herbicide twice, as reported by CBS San Francisco.

However, Monsanto, the Roundup's manufacturer, has denied his claim that the company's product causes cancer.

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As a groundskeeper, Johnson, 46, said that he sprayed 150 gallons of the weedkiller between 20 and 30 times a year.

Johnson worked for the Benicia Unified School District from 2012 until May 2016.

In October 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which his lawyers called as a more aggressive form of cancer in March 2015.

"I figured if it could kill weeds, it could kill me," Johnson said. "I took it seriously. That's why I wore anything I could to protect myself."

But Monsanto dismissed his claim that Roundup caused his cancer.

Attorney Sandra Edwards told CBS San Francisco: "We obviously have a huge amount of sympathy for Mr. Johnson and for his family as we do with anybody who has cancer."

"But the 40 years of science and data and experience with this product shows that it doesn't cause cancer."

According to the report by Jamie Yuccas of CBS News recently, in 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that the key ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is "probably carcinogenic to humans."

Donna Farmer, a Monsanto scientist, has disputed that finding.

She told CBS News: "The data that they look at, they cherry-pick it, and then they interpret some of those studies completely different than the researchers who actually did it."

When Johnson, a father of three who goes by the name Lee, is scheduled to receive his third round of chemotherapy, the trial is expected to conclude on August 10.

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