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German chemical giant Bayer has won a trial in a lawsuit brought by a California man who claimed he developed cancer from exposure to its glyphosate-based Roundup weedkiller, Reuters reported.

The trial followed a series of five losses in similar cases brought against the company, the 23 December report said.

Handed down on 22 December by a jury in San Benito County, California Superior Court, Bayer was quoted as saying in a statement that the verdict was “consistent with the evidence in this case that Roundup does not cause cancer and is not responsible for the plaintiff’s illness”.

At the time of the report, lawyers for the plaintiff Bruce Jones had not responded to Reuters’ requests for comment.

In his claim, Jones had alleged that the product had caused him to develop a form of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the report said.

To date, around 165,000 claims had been made against the company for personal injuries allegedly caused by Roundup, which Bayer acquired as part of its US$63bn acquisition of US agrochemical company Monsanto in 2018, Reuters wrote.

Bayer, which was appealing the verdicts brought against it, had now won 10 of the last 15 trials and further cases were expected to be tried this year, the report said.

The company, which sells the widely-used Roundup brand, has repeatedly said that decades of studies had shown Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, were safe for human use.

Bayer had settled most Roundup cases against it in 2020 for up to US$9.6bn but had been unsuccessful in reaching a settlement covering future cases and more than 50,000 claims remained pending, Reuters wrote.

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in agriculture and most genetically modified crops are designed to tolerate Roundup, allowing spraying against weeds during the growing season without destroying the crop.