Monsanto owners call weed killer 'safe' after jury orders big payout

Monsanto owners call weed killer 'safe' after jury orders big payout

Berlin (AFP) - Monsanto's German owners insisted Saturday that the weed killer Roundup was "safe", rejecting a California jury's decision to order the chemical giant to pay nearly $290 million for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that the product might cause cancer.

As observers predicted thousands more future claims against the company in the wake of Monsanto's defeat, Bayer -- which recently acquired the US giant -- said the California ruling went against scientific evidence.

"On the basis of scientific conclusions, the views of worldwide regulatory authorities and the decades-long practical experience with glyphosate use Bayer is convinced that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer," the company said in a statement.

It said other future court proceedings with other juries could "arrive at different conclusions" than the California jury which on Friday ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay out in the lawsuit, the first to accuse glyphosate of causing cancer.

Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto -- which vowed to appeal -- acted with "malice" and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed "substantially" to Dewayne Johnson's terminal illness.

Following eight weeks of trial proceedings, the San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million.

Johnson, diagnosed in 2014 with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma -- a cancer that affects white blood cells -- says he repeatedly used a professional form of Roundup while working at a school in Benicia, California.

"I want to thank everybody on the jury from the bottom of my heart," Johnson, 46, said after the verdict.

"I am glad to be here; the cause is way bigger than me. Hopefully this thing will get the attention it needs."

Johnson, who appeared to fight back sobs while the verdict was read, wept openly, as did some jurors, when he met with the panel afterwards.

The lawsuit built on 2015 findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the UN World Health Organization, which classified Roundup's main ingredient glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, causing the state of California to follow suit.

Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge was unimpressed with the results. "The jury got it wrong," he told reporters outside the courthouse.

"We are sympathetic to Mr Johnson and his family," Monsanto said in a statement, but promised to appeal the ruling and "continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others."

Johnson's attorney Brent Wisner said the verdict "shows the evidence is overwhelming" that the product poses danger.

"When you are right, it is really easy to win," he said.

- More to come? -

Wisner called the ruling the "tip of the spear" of litigation likely to come.

"The jury sent a message to the Monsanto boardroom that they have to change the way they do business," said Robert F. Kennedy Jr -- an environmental lawyer, son of the late US senator and a member of Johnson's legal team.

Partridge said that Monsanto had no intention of settling the slew of similar cases in the legal queue, saying if anything the company would work harder to demonstrate the weed killer is safe.

"It is the most widely used and most widely studied herbicide in the world," Partridge said.

Johnson's team expressed confidence in the verdict, saying the judge in the case kept out a mountain of more evidence backing their position.

"All the efforts by Monsanto to put their finger in the dike and hold back the science; the science is now too persuasive," Kennedy said, pointing to "cascading" scientific evidence about the health dangers of Roundup.

"You not only see many people injured, you see the corruption of public officials, the capture of agencies that are supposed to protect us from pollution and the falsification of science," Kennedy said.

- 'Win for all of humanity' -

Roundup is Monsanto's leading product.

"The Johnson vs Monsanto verdict is a win for all of humanity and all life on earth," said Zen Honeycutt, founding executive director of non-profit group Moms Across America.

Records unsealed earlier by a federal court lent credence to Johnson's claims -- internal company emails with regulators suggested Monsanto had ghostwritten research later attributed to academics.

Founded in 1901 in St Louis, Missouri, Monsanto began producing agrochemicals in the 1940s. It was acquired by Bayer for more than $62 billion in June.

Monsanto launched Roundup in 1976 and soon thereafter began genetically modifying plants, making some resistant to Roundup.

Oh well, illgained profits or live?
Curious Cdn
#3  Top Rated Post
I know that the substance blocks photosynthesis, so I guess that we'll all be a little less green from now on.
It's a conumerous product in the same category as Windex, Mr Clean and the environmental seal of approval awarded CLR.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

It's a conumerous product in the same category as Windex, Mr Clean and the environmental seal of approval awarded CLR.

I spoke to some students about it at McDonald College (McGill's agricultural college) about Roundup a decade ago and asked them whether it was carcinogenic and the consensus at the time was no.
too bad you did not ask someone who knows what they are talking about.

Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Hmmm when an aticle starts like this:

(This Nov 9 story corrects paragraph 11 to remove phrase at end to show Spiegelhalter did NOT say the possible association with AML was “not a concern”.)

One wonders about the rest of it...


It said there was “some evidence of increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) among the highest exposed group

Yeah, well like I was saying...thanks petros
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

I spoke to some students about it at McDonald College (McGill's agricultural college) about Roundup a decade ago and asked them whether it was carcinogenic and the consensus at the time was no.

Because it isn't. It's just salts.
Roundup is so ubiquitous and has been used fo over 40 years. Why is there only one man whose cancer was caused by it?
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

Roundup is so ubiquitous why is there only one man whose cancer was caused by it?

You can't prove that any one, single substance causes cancer. They test sustances by rubbing them on the backs of white mice and examining them for tumors. We're not white mice and our species has been exposed to some of the substances listed as "carcinogenic" for a hundred thousand years or so ... like the Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) in charred meat that we have been consuming since we discovered fire but that white mice have never encountered. A lot of the science is questionable and no autopsy will reveal single "smoking gun" substances at this point.
If it's cancer causing why do I see thousands of rodents scattering when harvesting?

Why are deer, moose, elk, antelope that eat freshly sprayed cereal crops and all the predators that feast on the crop eating rodents thriving?

The apex animals are thriving. That doesn't happen unless the entire food chain is healthy.
Roundup isn't like Agent Orange. Not even close.
You are so wrong doood....your food isn't sprayed with agent orange...

compare them chemical to chemical.

Lead Trial Counsel Reveals Evidence That Led to Historic Win Against Monsanto

August 10, 2018, a jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Dewayne Johnson in a truly historic case against Monsanto. Johnson claimed Roundup caused his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289 million in damages

According to the ruling, Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity of this pernicious weed killer

Internal documents obtained during the discovery process reveal the EPA colluded with Monsanto to protect the company’s interests — actually manipulating and preventing key investigations into glyphosate's cancer-causing potential

Brent Wisner, lead trial counsel for Johnson and thousands of other plaintiffs, discusses some of the most revelatory pieces of information brought up during Johnson’s trial. Sources are also provided where you can review these documents for yourself

Evidence showed Monsanto buried an internal report showing glyphosate genotoxic and then ghostwrote another report claiming glyphosate is completely safe. This fabricated “evidence” allowed them to sidestep toxicity concerns for the next 15 years
Bullshit. Nothing was hidden. The food chain from rodents to predators would have been wiped out decades ago.