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Bayer's Monsanto banned from selling glyphosate-based weedkiller in France

A French court has banned Bayer AG unit Monsanto Co.'s weedkiller Roundup Pro 360, ruling that the approval granted by the country's environmental agency did not take into account the potential health risks from the product, Reuters reported Jan. 15.

The court canceled the license for the product and noted in its ruling that scientific studies found the glyphosate-based weedkiller to be a potentially carcinogenic product for humans.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, known as ANSES, said it was still evaluating the ruling, but noted that due to the court's decision, the sale, distribution and use of the glyphosate-based weedkiller has been banned, the news outlet reported, citing an email from the agency.

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year, said it does not agree with the French court's ruling and will consider its legal options, Reuters reported. The company stated that regulatory rulings and scientific studies have found glyphosate to be safe.

The German pharmaceutical giant also faces lawsuits in the U.S. on claims that Monsanto's Roundup and Ranger Pro products are responsible for causing cancer.

Earlier in January, a U.S judge limited the evidence that can be presented to support claims that weedkillers made by Monsanto cause cancer, meaning that plaintiffs will have to first prove that the weedkiller Roundup causes cancer before claiming that Monsanto acted with malice.

The first federal court trial in the litigation will start Feb. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In August 2018, Bayer was ordered to pay $289 million in damages over allegations that Roundup caused cancer in a California school groundskeeper. The jury awarded the groundskeeper $39 million for his losses and set $250 million as the penalty for Roundup's design defect and failure to warn the public.