Renewable Farming

California jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million in cancer lawsuit

Today, the jury in Dewayne Johnson cancer lawsuit found Monsanto liable for $39 million in compensation and $250 million in punitive damages. Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge immediately said the company will appeal the decision.

August 10, 1018 — To see a video of the judge reading the jury’s complete answers to several key questions which lead to the overall verdict, click this link. The reading starts about minute 2.5. 

Moms Across America’s Zen Honeycutt has done years of effort to bring the glyphosate facts to mothers.  She posted these comments earlier today:

“This is the Beginning of the END of this Chemical Era! 

“Johnson, a school pesticide applicator with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, WINS his lawsuit against Monsanto! The jury (God Bless them!!!) awarded Johnson 289.2 million dollars! 4,000 other plaintiffs are waiting to sue Monsanto and 10,0000 are expected by the end of the year. Surely this decision has Bayer, who now owns Monsanto, reconsidering whether or not to continue to sell glyphosate-based products.

“This is a huge win for humanity! Corporations around the world now get that the must take responsibility for the impact of their products and stop poisoning people!

The Sustainable Pulse website has a detailed report of the case at this link.

AgWeb was one of the first ag news sites to report the news today. See this link in AgWeb.

Here’s how NBC News covered the story… see this link.

Update Aug. 11:  GM Watch adds this perspective.  So did CNN, with some dramatic courtroom photos at this link. And here’s the comprehensive report we’ve been anticipating, by writer Carey Gillam, who has tracked glyphosate and GMO issues in-depth for many years. Her article appears in The Guardian. If you have time to read only one of the several links in our report, this is the one for the most depth of understanding.

The French press agency AFP summarized controversies over glyphosate in seven nations; see this link.

Update Aug. 13: Bayer, which acquired Monsanto a couple of months ago, watched its stock value drop by $11 billion today as investors grew uneasy over the Johnson verdict — and the prospect of more lawsuits to come. News of the verdict was widespread, and for the first time exposed many of the tactics Monsanto has used over the years to manage safety evidence of glyphosate.

One of the unknown heroes who dug out the solid evidence which convicted Monsanto is independent researcher Anthony Samsel. Many months ago, we named Dr. Samsel and a colleague, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, as “heroes of American health research” for their detailed analysis of glyphosate’s impact on health. And now for the past year, Dr. Samsel has provided expert advice and volumes of information to Dewayne Johnson’s law firm. Samsel chose not to appear as an expert witness at the trial, but his evidence was apparent. He’s the only independent researcher we know who managed, through the Freedom of Information law, to obtain full copies of all official research submitted to federal agencies by Monsanto. This massive assembly of analysis contains many of the “800 studies” which Monsanto lawyers claim prove glyphosate completely safe.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is only the “end of the beginning” of an epic legal and regulatory battle. There will be appeals, and more new cases to come. One verdict will encourage other legal firms to tackle a widening array of health claims.

In our view it’s sorrowful that the courts should have to resolve the safety issue of such toxins. It indicates a dereliction of duty by the agencies which American citizens entrusted to do that job.

The court decision will probably provide academic encouragement and cover to propose further research into the complex linkages between glyphosate toxicity and its impacts on gut bacteria, which provides preconditions for cancer and a wide range of chronic diseases. One paper linked here proposes exactly that: Download the PDF.

Here’s a final note:  Click this link to view a YouTube video showing an interview/press conference with the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson.