A longtime user of the controversial weedkiller Roundup told a Missouri state court jury that despite his career in the agrochemical industry, his work exposed him to much lower levels of pesticide than when he applied Monsanto’s Roundup to his own garden during the summertime months, Law 360 reported.
Plaintiff Mark McCostlin took the stand on Sept. 22 in the latest Roundup cancer trial against the Monsanto Corporation, which Bayer acquired in 2018 for $63 billion.
McCostlin, who was 58 in 2017 when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), was in remission for approximately two years in 2019 when he realized Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate, the world’s best-selling weed- and grass-killing compound, was allegedly responsible for his cancer. McCostlin told the jury that he used Roundup for 30 years. He first started using it in 1985 and stopped in 2014. During that time, his family moved residences about every few years, and in each location, he would apply Roundup to weeds in his yard on the weekends.
The plaintiff also told the jury that his work in the agrochemical industry did not involve spraying weedkillers, although early on in his career, he did spray fertilizers. For most of his career, however, McCostlin worked in sales and management.
Per Law 360, McCostlin said on the stand, "All my career, I was on the front office. What I mean by that is I was in sales, sales management, procurement. I wasn't in the back office, if you will, where manufacturing of a chemical or spraying of a chemical or anything like that was taking place."
McCostlin’s career included a two-year stint at a competitor to Monsanto, the chemical giant BASF, where he distributed pesticides that would be applied to soybean fields. McCostlin would sometimes visit those fields, but he claimed that he would do so when the conditions were dry so that no residual pesticides would remain in the moisture.
The chemicals McCostlin did say he was exposed to during his tenure at BASF were “packaged and sealed.” McCostlin added that despite being in remission, his energy levels have plummeted and he has had to stop running.
This is an ongoing trial. Stay tuned for further developments.
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