Last month, a jury unanimously found Roundup responsible for Edwin Hardeman’s cancer and awarded him $80 million, “75 million in punitive damages for its negligence in failing to warn of the cancer risks of its herbicides despite years of published scientific data highlighting the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate-based herbicides”.1 This is the second case that has been won against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, due to cancer connected to use of their product.
Jeffrey Smith, the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology and a GMO expert, was in the courtroom and provided some interesting details on this case. He referred to the judge as hostile and described how he dismissed any evidence about the conduct of Monsanto and only allowed the scientific facts to be presented.
Exposure to chemicals in weed killer, Roundup, increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to a University of Washington study.2 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma seems to be the most common, which can present such symptoms as:
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin
- Breathing difficulties, coughing and chest pain
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Loss of weight
- Night sweats3
We know from the first trial in the fall of 2018, that Monsanto has been lying about the risks of Roundup and hiding them from the public. They intentionally manipulated data to show a different story and have colluded with anyone who could help them continue their mission of suppressing the truth and allowing the widespread use of Roundup.
Not surprisingly, Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, said it would appeal the ruling. A few days after the trial ended, they put up a huge ad in The Wall Street Journal, as part of the millions of dollars spent spewing the same misinformation that has been keeping the public in the dark about the risks of Roundup and glyphosate-based products.
Another trial, the third so far, has begun. This one involves a husband and wife. And there are another 9,000 pending cases yet to be tried, with more filings happening every day. This is historical and definitely something to be excited about and grateful for!
But a powerful company like Bayer/Monsanto won’t be put in its place quickly. We must protect ourselves by putting in the time and effort to educate ourselves and make choices that are more influential than they seem. Companies track consumer spending and create products that meet consumer demand. After all, profit is what matters most to them.
Choosing organic is essential, as Roundup is not allowed in organic food production. Sadly, Roundup is so pervasive in the environment that you may still get some exposure. But it will be a lot less than the levels found in non-organic food, shown by a recent study shared by the Environmental Working Group.
The tides are turning, albeit slowly, but any shift that supports health is a great win for all of us.