CLAYTON, Mo. – A trial has begun in Clayton for a lawsuit claiming Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer.

This is the first trial in the St. Louis area involving allegations over Monsanto’s Roundup. In this case, three people had claimed long-time exposure to the chemicals in Roundup which gave them lymphoma.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Brian May heard opening statements from lawyers representing three plaintiffs in their 60s and 70s who developed lymphoma and said longtime exposure to glyphosate chemicals was the cause.

“We think the evidence is going to show that in this case, pesticide manufacturers that don’t prioritize product safety don’t make safe products,” said Gibbs Henderson, the plaintiff’s lawyer.

There are several trials involving Roundup scheduled for the St. Louis area through 2023.

Monsanto is represented by lawyers from New York, Washington DC, and Husch Blackwell from Kansas City, Missouri.

Attorneys for a local firm Carey Danis & Lowe are representing the plaintiffs, along with a Texas-based firm.

“None of the treating physicians who saw these plaintiffs, treated them, and took care of them ever told them that their cancer was caused by glyphosate or Roundup,” said Manuel Cachan, the co-lead counsel of Monsanto. “There’s a good reason for that because Roundup and glyphosate are not acknowledged as risk factors in the medical literature.”

Monsanto was purchased by German-based Bayer in 2018. The company had paid more than 10 billion in lawsuits over the years, from victims who claimed the herbicide roundup led to their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“We have a justice system, and I believe the justice system should move the cases forward so people can get justice in their life because people are dying without seeing their justice,” said Moustafa Elhawari, who’s interested in the trial. “I believe that’s not right.”

The jury trial is expected to last until September 2.