Man Awarded $289 million for Cancer Caused by Monsanto's Roundup
by John Lawrence, August11, 2018
A jury awarded a man dying from cancer $289 million. DeWayne Lee Johnson, who had been a school's groundskeeper, had applied the weedkiller, Roundup, for years. It destroyed the weeds but also Johnson's health. Roundup contains glyphosate, a carcinogen, no matter how many times Monsanto denies it. This is the same stuff that is sprayed on the crops you eat. No wonder there is more cancer as years go by. It's not the GMO corn and soybeans that is the culprit. It's the glyphosate that's sprayed on these "Roundup ready" crops. These crops have been genetically modified so that Roundup does not kill them, only the weeds surrounding them. This enhances the farmer's profits as he doesn't have to deal with weeds and makes foods cheaper for the consumer. But is cheap food at the expense of one's health worth it?
The LA Times reported:
The jury deliberated three days before awarding $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages to groundskeeper DeWayne Lee Johnson, 46. He claimed that years of applying Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro to school properties in a Bay Area suburb of Benicia caused his incurable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Activists, who have long battled to ban glyphosate, lauded the decision in the closely watched trial.
“Monsanto made Roundup the OxyContin of pesticides, and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group. “This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company."
The verdict “signals a turning tide,” said Linda Wells, Midwest organizing director for Pesticide Action Network. “It’s time to get carcinogenic pesticides off the market, and fight for the protective regulations we all deserve,” Wells said.
Nationwide, growers have used an estimated 1.8 million tons of the chemical since it was introduced in the mid-1970s, according to government and industry estimates.
The bulk of glyphosate was sprayed on tens of millions of acres of corn and soy in the Midwest. But California growers also applied it to more than 200 crops across 4 million acres, including 1.5 million acres of almonds, making it their most widely used herbicide, according to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
Having inherited a company long vilified by environmental activists as “Monsatan,” Bayer faces high potential liabilities from hundreds of similar lawsuits, along with a battle over adding a cancer warning label on products sold in California.
A U.S. District Court judge earlier this year temporarily halted moves by California to require a cancer warning label under Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, passed by voters in 1986.
California’s decision to include glyphosate on its list of chemicals linked to cancer followed a 2015 ruling by the Europe-based International Agency for Research on Cancer that the chemical is a “probable” carcinogen.
So what is safe about ingesting poison that will probably not kill you right away? It may take on average 40 years before it kill you. Of course some will die sooner, some later. That's what averages are all about. Mr. Johnson had a huge exposure to glyphosate for many years. Most of us have smaller exposures so it will take longer for cancer to kill us. The only safe recourse is to eat organic foods as much as possible in order to reduce your exposure to this carcinogen. The American food supply today frankly consists of Frankenfoods, genetically modified products that won't be killed by herbicides and pesticides. Organic foods are not sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. That's why they cost more and are not as profitable for agribusiness.
So where do you ingest glyphosate? Fast food restaurants to be sure. They have a ready supply because glyphosate infused foods are the cheapest. Even in high end restaurants, if they don't say specifically that their foods are organic, they are probably not. When you eat at home, you have more control over the foods you eat because you can select organic foods at the supermarket. More and more supermarkets and specialty foods markets are selling them. If you want cheap food, eat foods with a glyphosate infusion. If you want to stay healthy, don't eat at nonorganic restaurants and eat organic foods at home. It's all about the money as a consumer and profits as a farmer. Monsanto's glyphosate has been a huge profit maker for Monsanto. It's the cigarette of the 21st century and not better living through chemistry but worse living through chemistry.