A world free from poisonous chemicals is possible. And it’s in our hands. The op-ed by the Director of Navdanya International, the organisation that protects nature, the Earth’s biodiversity and people’s rights to seeds and food.
Glyphosate, Monsanto ordered to pay 289 million dollars to a cancer patient
A California jury has ordered Monsanto to pay 289 million dollars in damages to a gardener who contracted cancer after using glyphosate-based herbicides for over 30 years.
The story of a US gardener who contracted cancer after using herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro, produced by agrochemical giant Monsanto, has a surprise ending: a California jury ordered the company (recently acquired by multinational Bayer) to pay the man the record figure of 289 million dollars in damages. The verdict was much awaited by other thousands of people who have been affected by the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.
American jury finds glyphosate causes cancer. It’s the most used agricultural chemical ever. This finding has huge implications for the food chain. https://t.co/QLReS9iovL
— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) 10 August 2018
The court of San Francisco against Monsanto
San Francisco’s Superior Court deliberated for three days to find that glyphosate contained in the company’s products Roundup and Ranger Pro contributed to cause Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. The 46-year-old man, who worked as a gardener in many public schools in California for over 30 years, got a cancer of the lymph system. Johnson’s lawyers affirmed that his illness was caused by the glyphosate-based weedkillers he used during the years of work. In the past, Johnson already had evident effects on his back and arms after spraying the herbicides in the school gardens up to 30 times a year. Now Monsanto has to pay 39 million dollars in compensatory and 250 million dollars in damages to the man who, according to doctors, is unlikely to live past 2020.
Other pending trials
The ruling in favour of Dewayne Johnson paves the way to thousands of similar lawsuits filed by people who contracted cancer after using Monsanto’s products. And the glyphosate-based herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro are the most likely suspects. The Californian jury said that Monsanto “acted with malice, oppression or fraud and failed to adequately warn its users of the danger”. The layers for Monsanto-Bayer said they will appeal the verdict but, meanwhile, other 5,000 lawsuits have been given the green light to trial.
Negotiations are over. The merger between Bayer and Monsanto will give life to a giant that will dominate the market of seeds and pesticides.
Bayer wants to acquire Monsanto. Its interest seems to coincide with Europe’s hesitations on glyphosate and raises concerns on TTIP.
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In 2017 the world’s largest iceberg, known as A68, detached from the Larsen C ice shelf and began drifting along the ocean. Today, it has almost entirely melted away.
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