- The Facts:
Another jury has determined that Roundup herbicide causes cancer. It's the second case to make headlines, and there are currently thousands of pending cases against the agrochemical giant, Bayer, who recently acquired Monsanto.
- Reflect On:
With so much science emerging over the past several decades showing how detrimental this product is to human health and the environment, why has it been approved? Why is it legal? Why do we buy it?
It’s hard to imagine how any jury could not come to the conclusion that Roundup herbicide causes cancer. Not long ago, a middle school groundskeeper be the name of Dewayne Johnson was awarded a victory after a jury found Bayer, who recently acquired Monsanto, to be guilty of causing/contributing to his terminal cancer. And that may just be the beginning. There are approximately 10,000 cancer cases pending against Monsanto when it comes to their Roundup herbicide.
Johnson’s jury heard evidence that for four decades Monsanto purposefully concealed Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists and engaging in scientific fraud to delay its day of reckoning. The jury found that these activities constituted “malice, fraud and oppression” warranting $250 million in punitive damages.
I am one of several attorneys representing, collectively, now some 8,000 clients with similar cases. I attended the two-month trial and worked with the trial team led by two young and exceptionally gifted lawyers, Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman and Dave Dickens of The Miller Firm. Despite Monsanto’s efforts, the science linking glyphosate—Roundup’s active ingredient—to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has passed the critical inflection point. European nations are moving to ban or restrict the chemical, and California regulators and courts have ordered Monsanto to warn consumers of Roundup’s carcinogenicity at all points of sale. Both federal and state courts across the country have agreed that the question can be sent to juries. Hundreds of new inquiries have flooded our offices since the Johnson verdict. – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (source)
Second Guilty Verdict For Monsanto
Earlier this week, a jury in California determined that a man who sprayed RoundUp on his property for decades is entitled to compensation from Bayer/Monsanto bfor his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to Bloomberg, Bayer immediately lost $8 billion in market share after the verdict.
Bayer AG slumped after a second major defeat in U.S. litigation over claims that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer, shaving almost $8 billion from its market value and raising the likelihood of a costly settlement.
The legal woes Bayer inherited with its acquisition of Monsanto Co. have hammered the company’s share price, which has dropped almost 30 percent since the $63 billion transaction was clinched in June, even as the company insists that the active ingredient in the herbicide is safe. The stock fell another 12 percent to 61.1 euros in Frankfurt on Wednesday.
The German company lost the first phase of a jury trial in San Francisco in the case of a man who sprayed the herbicide on his property for decades and said it caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It follows a separate California ruling in favor of a former school groundskeeper with cancer.
The latest ruling suggests Bayer is “the underdog in many of the reported 11,200 cases pending across the U.S.,” Holly Froum, a legal analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a report. “Absent settlement, many cases over Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller could go to trial.” She estimated the settlement value of all cases at more than $5 billion.
It’s quite amazing how a product like this and many others continue to be legal. When you do some digging, you find that corruption and fraud is the answer. Our federal health regulatory agencies have been completely compromised by these corporations, who are extremely unethical and seem to have absolutely no concerns for human health.
Relicensing Glyphosate In Europe
One recent example of fraud and corruption in this area comes from Europe. EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, and it came based on an assessment that was plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the company that manufactures these products, instead of seeking out independent scientific studies.
A group of MEPs decides to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about this story here.
Meanwhile years of science not done by industry were, predictably, completely ignored.
“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691
Just Like DDT
Again, it’s mind-blowing that this is even a debate. The toxicity of glyphosate has been known for a very long time, and we’ve seen a similar approach with DDT in the past.
“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” – October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)
Keep in mind that the use of glyphosate has skyrocketed, with a 1500% increase from 1995 to 2005. Over 100 million pounds of this stuff is used every year on more than a billion acres in the United States alone. But with these recent cases, hopefully that changes.
It’s also noteworthy to mention that the non profit group Moms Across America discovered glyphosate in popular orange juice brands across America. You can read more about that here.
I will leave you with this quote to ponder on, it’s from a group calling itself CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER. They put a list of complaints in writing in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.
At the end of the day, we are the ones who use these products. There have been massive amounts of efforts and fraud that’ve misled the public regarding the safety of Roundup, and several other products that are currently on the market. We see this type of fraud in food, education, and in other areas, and it’s important that we educate ourselves on the true dangers. None of these products would be in existence if we refused to purchase them. For that to happen it requires us to recognize that those powers entities purporting to protect us from such harm are actually not at all concerned with human health. We have to take matters into our own hands.
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