TWO Hampshire councils will continue to use weed killers that contain an ingredient deemed by an American court to “cause cancer”.

Both Hampshire and Southampton councils use herbicides which contain glyphosate, an ingredient used in a wide-range of domestically available weed killers.

However, one brand Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, was ordered to pay $289 million damages to Californian school groundsman Dewayne Johnson, after a jury decided that the herbicide – which he frequently used in his job – had caused him to develop lymphatic cancer.

The announcement of the verdict caused Bayer’s stock to fall sharply and the company has announced that it will be appealing, saying that the verdict was based on “junk science” and an “inflamed” jury.

Legal experts have said that the company faces an uphill climb to overturn the verdict.

Now, when asked if they would continue to use the products, Southampton City Council said it would not look to replace it, whereas Hampshire County Council said it will review its use. Despite its decision, the city council did say it was following the “recommended safety precautions” in using the product.

A spokesperson for the city council said: “We use a widely available and effective herbicide containing glyphosate in accordance with all recommended safety precautions and health and safety regulations.”

A spokesperson for the county said: “In the light of this ruling, we will look into the use of glyphosate-based weed killers on Hampshire’s highways; however, given their widespread use we also await guidance from central government.”

Monsanto has maintained that Roundup has been proven safe based on “40 years of safe glyphosate use and studies”, but in 2015 the World Health Organisation ruled that glyphosates are “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

Other studies have also shown that Roundup and glyphosate-based products can be harmful to animals, causing vomiting and poisoning-like symptoms, although it is not considered life-threatening.

Wilko and Homebase have all announced that they will be reviewing their glyphosate products, meaning that they could be pulling Roundup Weed Killer from their shelves.

B&Q are also currently reviewing their garden services range, including Roundup, as part of a full service review that was started in 2017, prior to the court ruling.

The European Parliament has also called for the product to be banned by 2022, and 1.3 million European citizens signed a petition calling for it to be taken off shelves in 2016. Several authorities across the country have banned their use entirely, seeking alternative options for weed killer.