COUNCILS in Gwent will review the use of a weedkiller which has been linked with cancer following a landmark United States court case.

A jury awarded a groundsman £226 million last week after finding that herbicides contained within Monsanto product Roundup contributed to his terminal cancer.

The manufacturer, which once had a chemicals plant in Newport, was told they had failed to adequately warn of the risk of using Roundup, which contains the world’s most widely-used herbicide – glyphosate.

Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge has said the company will appeal the verdict to “vigorously defend" the product.

Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Caerphilly councils currently use the product to tackle weeds within their local authority areas.

Newport council uses a glyphosate product but a spokeswoman did not specify if the product was Roundup.

A statement read: “Newport City Council does use a chemical with glyphosate which is used in compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.”

Blaenau Gwent council say Roundup isn’t used by their external contractor but did not say if other products containing glyphosate are used instead.

A Torfaen council spokesman said glyphosate was licensed for use by the European Union’s health and food commissioner, and such products could be bought over the counter at gardening and DIY shops.

“[Roundup] is currently used to kill weeds and treat Japanese Knotweed on council land in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the relevant legislation governing the use of pesticides,” he said.

“Spraying for this year has now largely been completed but the future use of glysophate is to be reviewed by the council’s scrutiny committee later this year.”

Most of Caerphilly’s weed control is carried out by an external contractor, according to a council spokeswoman, but the authority still uses it for a “partial” amount of in-house operations.

The spokeswoman said: “Our robust risk assessments and safe systems of work support the operations and best practices that we deliver.

“Obviously, with this new information there is now the need for guidance at a national level on this product and glyphosate related products going forward.”

A Monmouthshire council spokesman said Roundup is used by an external contractor to eradicate weeds on hard surfaces, including the vast majority of the council’s roads and footways.

“The grounds maintenance section utilises Roundup to eradicate weeds on its external contracts and also along mowing margins,” the spokesman continued.

"At present there are no restrictions on the use of Roundup. The EU Agency for Chemical Products has renewed the licence permitting the use of Roundup for another five year period.”

Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge said hundreds of studies showed the herbicide does not cause cancer and said the company would appeal the verdict to “vigorously defend this product”.

He told the Press Association: “Roundup has been safe for four decades and will continue to be safe. There is no credible scientific evidence that demonstrates otherwise.

“It is completely and totally safe and the public should not be concerned about this verdict, it is one that we will work through the legal process to see if we can get the right result. The science is crystal clear.”