EPA refutes Science, refuses to ban Harmful Pesticide

(July 23, 2019) It is now official: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an industry-captured entity. It does not “work” for the people of this country for whom it was created, by President Richard Nixon in 1970. (Say what you will about Mr. Nixon; in creating the EPA, he was on the right side of history.) The proof is in the pudding; and it is, by any estimation, a very nasty toxic pudding that we are eating today. The EPA’s final ruling last week refutes established science as the agency refuses to ban a harmful pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The move proves once for all that this agency works for corporate profits at the expense of us all.

Related: Chlorpyrifos Pesticide linked to Autism, ADHD, Lower IQ

Chlorpyrifos Poison Green-lighted by EPA
Despite the EPA’s own scientists reporting for years that chlorpyrifos has not been proven safe at any exposure level, that even the tiniest increments of this poison (developed from nerve gas meant to kill people) can cause childhood development injuries, including autism, ADHD, lowered IQ and behavioral problems, that chlorpyrifos in any dose is dangerous for babies in the womb and for young children, the agency last week voted to allow this poison to remain on the market.

The kicker, the dark punch line in this travesty, is that the EPA’s own scientists have repeatedly determined that chlorpyrifos pesticide – which is sprayed to some degree on nearly every food not organically grown, and wafted hither and yon into the lungs of us all – harms the developing brains of children and also harms us all in various ways. Pesticide-related death or disease – like the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suffered by more than 12,000 people now suing Monsanto for sickening them with its cancer cocktail Roundup – is the new normal, slow pesticide death by a thousand cuts. Pesticides like chlorpyrifos add to the body’s already toxic burden. They either shorten one’s life or they lower the quality of life for most of us who eat the food and drink the water the pesticide has poisoned.

Chlorpyfiros is Everywhere
Make no mistake, chlorpyrifos is everywhere. Farmers use it on a wide variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, fruits, nut trees, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, broccoli, cauliflower. This poison is used on most fruits and vegetables eaten in the U.S.. And even if you are eating only organic food (and who can do that?), you are still paying the freight for rising health care costs that affect most of the people made sick by avoidable poisons like Roundup and chlorpyrifos. And your tax dollars will continue to pay more for the special education needs of those children stunted by the EPA’s green-lighted poison.

Health is Wealth
Most people in our country imagine themselves healthy if they don’t have a grapefruit-sized tumor growing out of their neck. Most can’t connect the dots running from our broken “healthcare” system to our poisoned food and water and the tax monies we all pay. Most are so polluted with various toxins, most carry such a heavy toxic burden in their overloaded bodies that they can’t even imagine what it’s like to be clear-eyed and healthy in mind, spirit, and body. This enormous blindness where real health as wealth is concerned is one of the great ongoing tragedies of our time. And now the U.S. EPA has just moved to affirm our degraded toxic state of spiritual, mental, and physical degradation as the new normal.

How long has the EPA known of Chlorpyrifos Dangers?
EPA scientists have known of chlorpyrifos’ dangers for more than 20 years. The EPA banned chrlorpyrifos for most home uses back in the year 2000, citing risks to children.

So what has changed to make the agency “feel” the chemical is safer for kids now than it was in 2000? As John Lennon said, money doesn’t talk, it screams. The new EPA is all ears when it comes to money. This is Donald Trump’s EPA, and the man with the gold-plated toilet has always been most helpful to those who can show him the money.

Mr. Trump’s first EPA head, Scott Pruitt, resigned in disgrace amid a series of ethics scandals after he was caught using our tax dollars for private plane trips, double secret probation phone booths, and other extravagant amenities that only government-connected crooks or obscenely wealthy career politicians can afford to waste our tax money on.

EPA rejects own Scientists Findings
On the heels of Mr. Pruitt’s disgrace comes this latest EPA move backwards in one of the most troubling environmental deregulation moves of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Under pressure from a court-ordered deadline, the EPA last week reaffirmed its unconscionable 2017 decision to reject a proposal from the EPA’s own scientists to ban chlorpyrifos.

Tom Philpott reported for Mother Jones in 2017:
“[C]hlorpyrifos is a nasty piece of work. It’s an organophosphate, a class of bug killers that work by ‘interrupting the electrochemical processes that nerves use to communicate with muscles and other nerves,’ as the Pesticide Encyclopedia puts it. Chlorpyrifos is also an endocrine disrupter, meaning it can cause ‘adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects,’ according to the National Institutes of Health.

Major studies from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of California-Davis, and Columbia University have found strong evidence that low doses of chlorpyrifos inhibit kids’ brain development. Exposure is especially insidious in the womb, with effects ranging from lower IQ to higher rates of autism. See the NIH – Pub Med Article.

Cozy Regulator Regulated Relationships
Mr. Philpott also elucidates the cozy relationship between President Donald Trump and Dow Chemical, which markets chlorpyrifos:

“Dow AgroSciences’ parent company, Dow Chemical, (has) contributed $1 million to the president’s inaugural committee, the Center for Public Integrity notes. In December 2018, Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris attended a post-election Trump rally in the company’s home state of Michigan. (Dow) used the occasion to announce plans to create 100 new jobs and bring back another 100 more from foreign subsidiaries. Around the same time, Trump named Liveris chair of the American Manufacturing Council, declaring the chemical executive would “find ways to bring industry back to America.” (Dow has another reason beside chlorpyrifos’ fate to get chummy with Trump: its pending mega-merger with erstwhile rival DuPont, which still has to clear Trump’s Department of Justice.)

Since the 2017 chlorpyrifos decision, the administration has approved the Dow-Dupont merger and named several former Dow executives to high posts within the US Dept. of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Hawaii, California, and New York have all announced plans to phase out chlorpyrifos use in farm fields.

A Poisoned Future
It all adds up to a poisoned future for America’s children, not to mention the rest of us not wealthy enough, cash-wise, to purchase the political favors of a U.S. president.

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Judge calls Monsanto “reprehensible,” refuses to toss Jury Verdict

 (July 16, 2019) Calling Monsanto “reprehensible” for concealing the cancerous hazards of Roundup, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria refused to toss out a jury verdict against the chemical giant this week.

Judge Chhabria oversaw the Roundup trial in which a jury, in March 2019, ordered Monsanto to pay Ed Hardeman $80 million.

Monsanto more concerned with silencing safety concerns than ensuring Roundup Safe

The judge said a punitive award is appropriate because trial evidence “easily supported a conclusion that Monsanto was more concerned with tamping down safety inquiries and manipulating public opinion than it was with ensuring its product is safe.”

Mr. Hardeman alleged in his 2016 lawsuit petition that he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after spraying Roundup for 26 years around his 56-acre property. His northern California land included hiking trails dotted with poison oak, which Mr. Hardeman said he dosed heavily with Roundup. Then he woke one morning with a golf-ball sized lump on his neck, and was soon diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, around Christmas 2014.  Monsanto’s lawyers say he has been in remission for four years after taking chemo “therapy.”

In reviewing the case at Monsanto’s request, the judge did agree this week to reduce the $80 million verdict to $25 million. He said he found the punitive damages award “unreasonably high.” At the same time, Judge Chhabria said he agreed with the plaintiff’s side that the roughly $5 million in compensatory damages awarded to Ed Hardeman was sufficiently supported by the trial evidence. However, the judge called the jury’s $75 million punitive damages award against the Bayer AG unit “constitutionally impermissible.”

Judge: Monsanto’s Conduct Reprehensible

“The jury’s punitive damages award was approximately 15 times the size of the compensatory damages award,” said the judge. “Monsanto’s conduct, while reprehensible, does not warrant a ratio of that magnitude, particularly in the absence of evidence showing intentional concealment of a known or obvious safety risk.”

Judge Chhabria found that the $75 million in punitive damages exceeded the constitutional limit set by the due process clause which prohibits “grossly excessive” punitive damages. He reduced the punitive damages award to $20 million, which changed the total amount to around $25.3 million.

The California jury unanimously found Monsanto liable for failing to warn that glyphosate, Roundup’s only listed active ingredient, could cause cancer. The jury awarded Mr. Hardeman more than $80 million, shocking the chemical giant in the first federal bellwether trial.

Jury Unanimous over Failure to Warn, Negligence, Design Defect
After deliberating for a day, five women and one man found Monsanto liable on a failure-to-warn claim, a negligence claim, and a design defect claim. The six awarded Mr. Hardeman $200,967 in economic damages, roughly $5 million in future and past noneconomic damages, $75 million in punitive damages.

Bayer spokesperson Christopher Loder called Judge Chhabria’s decision to slash the punitive damages award a “step in the right direction.” Mr. Loder also repeated again Monsanto’s oft-repeated claim that the damage awards are not supported by “reliable evidence and conflict with both the weight of the extensive science that supports the safety of Roundup, and the conclusions of leading health regulators in the U.S. and around the world that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.” He also said that Bayer plans to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit.

Judge rejects Monsanto Bid to Toss Jury Verdict

On July 12, Judge Chhabria denied Monsanto’s bid for a new trial. He said there was no reason to overturn the jury’s verdict on Mr. Hardeman’s design defect claim because sufficient evidence supported a finding that Roundup is defective under California law when sold without a warning.

The judge also rejected Monsanto’s argument that the jury saw an “inaccurate view” of the scientific and regulatory landscape around Roundup.

Judge: Monsanto limited Evidence, made its own bed
“This argument is fundamentally about the scope of the trial,” the judge said. “While Monsanto is correct that the jury wasn’t presented with the entire regulatory landscape, that is primarily a function of the evidentiary parameters Monsanto itself requested, and was largely granted, in response to motions in limine.”

Monsanto is also fighting two other huge trial losses over Roundup. Prior to Mr. Hardeman’s March 2019 verdict, an August 2018 trial resulted in a $289 million judgment against Monsanto for school groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson, a verdict later slashed to $78 million. In the third Roundup trial, in May 2019, a jury awarded a husband and wife a $2.055 billion verdict. Alva and Alberta Pilliods’ case is one of approximately 13,400 pending. Most are consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL Court) before Judge Chhabria.

Judge calls Monsanto “reprehensible,” refuses to toss Jury Verdict

The case is Hardeman v. Monsanto Co. et al., case number 3:16-cv-00525, and the MDL is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, case number 3:16-md-02741, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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Monsanto Money Buys Science

(July 12, 2019) Monsanto money buys science. The embodiment of the way Monsanto works to buy whatever scientific “expert” opinions it needs is readily seen in the person of one Dr. Nina V. Federoff. This woman has been outed as a shameless industry shill by Stacy Malkan of U.S. Right to Know. Ms. Malkan’s exposé titled, “Nina Fedoroff: Mobilizing the authority of American science to back Monsanto” is an impressive piece of journalism in an age when good journalism grows increasingly rare. Most journalism simply does not pay well unless one writes for Monsanto or some other corporation that can afford to pay a  promoter like Henry I. Miller or shameless others of his ilk.

Ms. Malkan follows the money to show just how Dr. Federoff has, for years, served her Monsanto and GMO benefactors. The doctor does so by never divulging the fact that she has been rewarded in one form or another by Monsanto and other corporations of its ilk that promote the genetically modified (Read: genetically perverted) food industry.  For more on the subject, please see “Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, based on a book of the same name by Jeffrey M. Smith.

Ms. Malkan demonstrates how Dr. Federoff has promoted chemical industry giants like Monsanto, as well as all things GMO, while posing as a disinterested third-party “expert.” Federoff has done her work for Monsanto – like the execrable Michael Taylor before her – not only by moving through the revolving door that runs between government “service” and industry employment, but also by posing as someone with a talent for the truth when it comes to Monsanto and genetically perverted food.

Dr. Federoff is a perfect example of all that is rancid and wrong in Washington D.C. She does her dirty work in the dark for an industry that makes its money by killing things, and she does it while pretending to work in the light as a disinterested third party. A principal factor in her duplicity is her failure to disclose her industry ties, her vested interest in promoting Monsanto and GMOs. She routinely pretends to operate independently of her corporate benefactors. She virtually never reveals who is paying her to promote (or defend) Monsanto and GMOs, but her ruse begins to unravel when every position she ever held has been nothing but a promotion for the chemical and GMO industries that poison the world with toxic pesticides like Roundup.

Using the AAAS to advance agrichemical industry policy objectives

As Ms. Malkan reports, during her 2011-2012 run as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2012-2013, Dr. Fedoroff worked with agrichemical industry allies to advance key policy objectives. She worked to keep genetically engineered foods unlabeled. She worked to defeat a proposal by the U.S. EPA that would have required additional data on the health and environmental impacts of genetically engineered crops which are classified as pesticides. She wants us eating pesticides without our knowing it, wants us blindly eating without question or knowledge whatever her corporate benefactors choose to “produce.”

AAAS helped persuade voters to oppose GMO labeling

In 2012, the AAAS Board of Directors under Dr. Fedoroff’s chairmanship, moved to convince California voters to vote against GMO-food labeling. California’s Proposition 37 was a ballot initiative to label GMOs. A review of the many political statements made by AAAS found no other examples of the organization trying to influence voters ahead of a state election. The AAAS and Dr. Fedoroff refused to respond to USRTK requests for comment. USRTK works to promote labeling,which 90 percent of U.S. citizens polled have said they prefer.

The AAAS board’s statement opposing GMO labeling contained inaccuracies, according to longtime AAAS members. Several of them denounced the anti-labeling statement as a “paternalistic” attack on consumer rights that misled the public by omitting important scientific and regulatory context.

AAAS goes to Bat for Industry

Curious similarities appeared in language used by the AAAS and the industry-funded campaign to defeat Proposition 37. “Is a major science group stumping for Monsanto?” Michele Simon asked in Grist. Ms. Simon, noted Ms. Malkan, described the board’s statement as “non-scientific but very quote-worthy,” and noted that the accompanying AAAS press release contained “talking points” that matched No on 37 campaign literature.

AAAS Lack of Transparency

In a 2013 letter to Science magazine, another group of 11 scientists raised concerns that the AAAS board’s statement on GMO foods “could backfire.” They wrote, “we are concerned that AAA’s position represents a poorly informed approach to communicating science …  appearing to be less than transparent is a really bad idea for the scientific community.”

Dr. Fedoroff was an early supporter of the industry-backed “‘No’ on 37” campaign. She was listed on an industry website in June 2012 as one of four scientists representing the “scientific and academic community” who opposed GMO labeling. The industry campaign later asked Dr. Fedoroff to help recruit more academics to their cause, which she did, according to an October 1, 2012 email to Meghan Callahan of BCF Public Affairs.

Helped kill data requirements for pesticide-producing plants

While serving as AAAS president in 2011, Dr. Fedoroff worked with agrichemical industry allies and an industry lobbyist to stop the U.S. EPA from requiring companies to provide additional health and safety data for genetically engineered foods that are classified as pesticides. The USRTK web site presents detailed emails showing just how low Dr. Fedoroff was willing to go to please her corporate masters.

Please see Ms. Malkan’s entire US Right to Know story to see just how Dr. Fedoroff operates at the behest of Monsanto and others.  Her being outed by USRTK is one more nail in Monsanto’s coffin as it tries to continue fooling the public regarding its carcinogenic Roundup and its promotion of toxic GMO “food.”

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Chlorpyrifos Pesticide linked to Autism, ADHD, Lower IQ

Several studies have linked pesticides to child development problems. Those near farms face the greatest risk.

(June 17, 2019) Young children exposed to pesticides containing chlorpyrifos can suffer lifelong problems that include autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s-like tremors, and lower IQ. Many injured by chlorpyrifos were exposed to the chemical while in the womb of their pregnant mothers. Prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos has been linked to anomalies in the brain’s surface.

What is Chlorpyrifos?

Chlorpyrifos — patented by Dow Chemical in the 1960s — belongs to a nasty family of toxic pesticides called organophosphates. These pesticides work as neurotoxins to kill insects. In bigger doses, they’re also neurotoxic to human beings.

People once used chlorpyrifos to control insects at home, though the EPA has banned residential use.

Besides homes, chlorpyrifos was widely used as a multipurpose insecticide for many agricultural and residential applications – from flea control for pets to mite protection for crops.  Trade names include Lorsban, Lock-On, Cobalt. Chlorpyrifos was also marketed and sold for home and industrial uses under the brand name Dursban.

Farm workers and others who often handle or inhale chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates are at the “highest risk of exposure,” the NIH says. When it’s sprayed in homes and gardens, residents are also at a “higher risk of exposure,” says the NIH.

The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for residential uses in 2000, except where it might be “safely” contained in ant and roach bait products.

How does Chlorpyrifos work?

Chlorpyrifos lethally disrupts the nervous system of its targets. Dow developed it to rid homes and gardens of cockroaches, ants, mites, and other undesirables. The problem is that human beings can also be vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects in small, continuous doses.

Chlorpyrifos Pesticide linked to Autism, ADHD, Lower IQ

Chlorpyrifos exposure occurs in many ways. Families living near farms that spray chlorpyrifos on their fields are acutely affected. Runoff from agricultural uses can put the chemical in drinking water. If you think you are safe from chlorpyrifos, don’t buy any fruits and vegetables; its residue can remain on fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store.

Over the past several years, many studies have shown prolonged exposure to chlorpyrifos hurts neurodevelopment in fetuses and young children. It leads to a heightened risk for autism and ADHD. A recent EPA report detailed the risks of exposing infants and pregnant women to chlorpyrifos. It demonstrated a potential link to intelligence deficits; the development of autism; problems with attention, memory, and motor skills.

Dow disputes Scientific Findings

Dow disputes virtually any and all findings which point to chlorpyrifos dangers. A company website claims: “The weight of the evidence of years – in some cases, decades – of scientific study continues to demonstrate that there is no link between chlorpyrifos and any of these health concerns.” Dow, like another poison giant – Monsanto — has been funding its own scientific research to fight the growing consensus about chlorpyrifos.

Dow is preparing for a long legal battle to keep chlorpyrifos on the market, and, by turn, in our air, food, and water.

California Chlorpyrifos

It’s no surprise that the country’s largest food producer sees more chlorpyrifos dumped on it than any other state.  RevealNews.org reports that chlorpyrifos is used most heavily in the California counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kern.

A recent University of California, Davis study found that pregnant women living near fields treated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos were three times (3x) more likely to have a child with autism. Early childhood exposure has been linked to developmental delays.

California counties with highest chlorpyrifos use, including agricultural and nonagricultural uses such as landscaping, mosquito control and, before 2001, residential fumigation:

County Pounds of chlorpyrifos used, 1991-2012 Percentage change, 1991-2012
     
Fresno 7.2 million 78%
Tulare 6.1 million -21%
Kern 5.4 million 70%
Kings 3.2 million 97%
Stanislaus 2 million -66%
Imperial 1.8 million -50%
San Joaquin 1.7 million -59%
Merced 1.5 million -51%
Monterey 1.4 million -68%
Los Angeles 1.4 million -99%

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Jury awards $12M In Talc Suit against J&J, Colgate

(June 13, 2019)A California jury ruled yesterday that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson and Colgate Palmolive’s talcum powder products likely caused a woman’s cancer. The jury awarded the dying woman $12 million. It was the latest of several cases J&J has lost over its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talc products. Thousands of similar lawsuits remain pending across the country instate and federal courts.

The 12-member state court jury deliberated for five days before concluding it is more likely than not that J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower, along with Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet, contained asbestos that caused Ms. Patricia Schmitz’s mesothelioma.

Negligence, Design Defect, Failure to Warn, Concealment
The jury found both companies liable for negligence, design defect, failure to warn, and concealment.  The jury did not determine whether J&J and Colgate acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”  Such a finding could have warranted punitive damages. The jury were also unable to find J&J liable for another intentional misrepresentation claim for advertising company talc products as “pure,” in spite of knowing they could be contaminated with asbestos.

The $12M  jury award included approximately $2 million in economic damages and $10 million in noneconomic damages. The jury found J&J 30 percent responsible, its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 10 percent responsible.  The jury found Colgate 40 percent responsible. They also found non-party Avon Products Inc. 20 percent responsible.

The highly contentious trial began back on April 23 in Oakland, California. Ms. Schmitz claimed  decades of exposure to J&J and Colgate talcum products was a substantial factor in causing her cancer. The 61-year-old was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2018. Her attorneys told the jury that she is not expected to live past this summer (2019).

J&J Execs knew Talc contained Asbestos

The jury heard wildly-conflicting expert testimony from mineralogists, pathologists, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and microscopists. Ms. Schmitz’s experts and attorneys pointed to dozens of internal corporate documents since the 1960s which they claimed show Colgate and J&J executives knew their companies’ talc products could contain asbestos.

Ms. Schmitz’s attorneys argued that the companies’ corporate executives downplayed the risks, skewed lab results, promoted imprecise talc testing methods, refused to replace talc with non-toxic cornstarch, failed to warn consumers and federal regulators.

Both sides complained to Judge Frank Roesch throughout the proceedings that their opponent had mentioned topics which he had specifically excluded from trial. On two occasions, J&J attorneys asked the judge to declare a mistrial.  He rejected both mistrial bids, called the second request “ridiculous.”

Sanctions for J&J Attorney?

Judge Roesch said during closings that he would entertain a request for sanctions against J&J’s counsel Alexander Calfo.  The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that J&J’s attorney, Mr. Calfo, repeatedly violated the judge’s pretrial orders during J&J’s closing arguments. They also argued that he  attacked the court. A June 25 date is set to hear that motion.

Growing List of Verdicts against J&J for Talc Products

This latest verdict adds to a growing list of plaintiffs’ wins in jury trials over claims that J&J’s talc products were contaminated with asbestos and caused their users’ cancers.

Earlier in 2019, another California jury awarded a woman and her family nearly $29.5 million over similar claims against J&J and talc supplier Cyprus Mines. In 2018, a New Jersey jury awarded Stephen Lanzo III and his wife $117 million. State judges in both cases have since refused to throw out or reduce the verdicts.

In May 2019, a New York jury hit J&J and its talc supplier with a $325 million verdict that included $300 million in punitive damages. That jury found the company’s talc powder likely caused Donna Olson’s pleural mesothelioma.  In a similar case in South Carolina, however, a jury cleared J&J of similar allegations.

J&J currently faces a federal probe and federal multidistrict litigation in New Jersey over claims that some of its talc products caused cancer. It also faces at least four securities suits over the allegations of asbestos contamination, according to its February 2019 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

J&J was also hit with whopping $4.69 billion verdict in another talc cancer case, and Colgate was hit with a $13 million verdict in 2015.

Imery’s Bankruptcy Bailout
Imerys Talc America Inc., a J&J supplier, was originally named as a defendant in Ms. Schmitz’ complaint, but avoided trial after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2019. Imerys said it faces up to $100 million in debt from a litany of lawsuits over claims that talc which it produced contained asbestos.

Jury awards $12M In Talc Suit against J&J, Colgate

The case is Schmitz v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number RG18923615, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda.

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Roundup Cocktail threatens Monsanto

The Roundup cocktail that has killed living things for decades now threatens its Monsanto creator.  One is reminded of Macbeth’s pausing to consider the fallout before he murders Duncan: “That we but teach bloody instructions which, being taught, return to plague the inventor.”  Monsanto has taught a lot of bloody instructions through the years, all over the world. And now the company that kills for a living may fast be approaching its day of reckoning, despite whatever its well-paid lawyers and executives endlessly repeat about jury appeals as the company loses each new trial in spectacular fashion.

Or consider a Frankenstein metaphor – Monsanto as mad scientist creating an ugly monster that destroys its creator. All metaphors break down on close inspection, but this one might not be hyperbole, given the enormous verdicts against Monsanto that Roundup has wrought so far.  What seemed unthinkable just six months or a year ago is now eminently thinkable: The toxic Roundup cocktail may yet destroy its creator. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Bayer is worth less now than the $63 billion it paid for Monsanto about a year ago.

The WSJ wrote on Monday, May 20, 2019:

“Bayer’s market capitalization has shrunk by more than 40% to roughly $59.13 billion. Worried that liabilities from the weedkiller are going to rise, investors have abandoned the stock, sending the shares into a downward spiral.”

Monsanto loses a third Roundup Trial, now 0-3 against Roundup Users

The latest Roundup trial – which brought a staggering $2 Billion verdict against Monsanto – has revealed to the world the glaring EPA loophole which allowed Monsanto to unleash Roundup on the world. It is a loophole that was clearly designed by chemical industry executives working through  back doors with “our” government regulators.  It was clearly not designed by regulators working first and foremost with the health of the public, the birds, bees, animals, and the land in mind. This glaring loophole has helped corporations escape liability in most environmental or product liability cases for many decades.

The Glyphosate Loophole

The regulatory loophole is so large and glaring that it is difficult to imagine it being allowed by any sane agency, government, or people. This loophole allows a company to list and test for safety only whatever that company decides to call an “active ingredient.” Roundup, as well as virtually any pesticide or poison you can think of (including the fluorosilicic acid dumped into most of the nation’s drinking water), has a twisted and tortured regulatory history.  In the case of Roundup, Monsanto was allowed to tell the EPA that glyphosate is its only active ingredient, and that the others were virtually irrelevant. The company had gotten away with that ruse – using a see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil EPA – since the 1970s. All that has finally changed with the Roundup trials. The world is apparently waking up as juries are finally being allowed to hear the truth. The EPA classifies an ingredient as “inert” if it does not do the actual weed-killing, but that classification doesn’t mean the ingredient is not relevant, or doesn’t make the entire cocktail more toxic.

Inert Ingredients Matter

The obvious truth is that ALL the ingredients in a given toxic cocktail matter. The truth is that a company’s calling an ingredient “inert” doesn’t necessarily make it so. That’s what three juries have discovered as Monsanto has lost all three trials over Roundup so far – for $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion. Monsanto has lost those trials principally because all three juries have been able to hear evidence of how the entire toxic cocktail called Roundup is at least 50x more toxic than glyphosate alone. (Who’d have thunk it? Not the US EPA, which still backs Monsanto.)  As the Pilliods’ lawyer put it before the jury which reached the $2.06 billion verdict, Roundup isn’t just glyphosate. It includes other “highly more toxic” components that “have a synergistic effect with glyphosate.”

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias noted: “The trial judge let in a lot more in the third trial than [was let in] in the first two.  (It) seems like they heard more, and more of it was bad.”

Roundup Ingredient banned in Europe

Mr. Tobias noted that Alameda Superior Court Judge Winifred could again allow plaintiffs to reveal to the jury that a surfactant in the toxic Roundup cocktail, polyoxyethylene tallow amine, known as POEA, is banned in Europe.  POEA helps the Roundup liquid spread across leaves’ waxy surfaces and coat them instead of beading up. The Pilliod case jury was the first to learn of the European ban.  Just as it coats living plants, Roundup coats the human skin in similar fashion, then leeches into the bones and the lymph, where it triggers non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Just as the plants are unable to uptake vitamins and minerals to keep them alive after Roundup surfactants attach and attack, eating Roundup-contaminated GMO food attacks the human gut and damages its ability to uptake needed nutrients.

(Many obese and even morbidly obese people are sadly living nutrient-deprived lives as a result.  No matter how much they eat, they are sadly always hungry because their bodies are unable to uptake vital nutrients.)

Monsanto Rebuttal

Monanto’s lawyers’ rebuttal at trial was to claim that dozens of studies were done on surfactants and that they were all found safe. What entities performed those studies, what company paid for them, and how they were designed were all questions that came up in court and were tackled by the plaintiff’s side. Again and again plaintiffs showed in all three trials that Monsanto paid for virtually all of the studies which suggest Roundup might be safe to use. Monsanto lawyers, meanwhile, repeated over and over that hundreds of studies have shown glyophosate is safe, though virtually all of those studies were done by Monsanto or were paid for my Monsanto, or were done by scientists or researchers with vested interests in Monsanto.

The Pilliods’ lead attorney Brent Wisner told the jury that Monsanto knew for a long time that combining glyphosate with the surfactant is more genotoxic and has a “synergistic effect.” He said Monsanto knew as much as early as 2000, that the company had heard it from a consultant whose findings Monsanto then dismissed for not helping support the company.

Internal Monsanto emails showed Monsanto religiously avoided switching to a known safer surfactant in the U.S. for fear that the change would look like an acknowledgement that Roundup  was dangerous.  Switching would have alerted the world, leading to Roundup bans everywhere, and it might have led to the exact types of lawsuits the company now finds itself fighting.

Monsanto claimed the change in Roundup’s European formula was for “market tastes.”  The jury clearly didn’t buy it.

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Monsanto Black Ops revealed

Bayer begins internal investigation as law enforcement investigates. 

(May 17, 2019)  Monsanto has for at least a decade made “hit lists” of people it considers enemies, including select journalists, lawmakers, regulators, and scientists. Monsanto has targeted those people for blowing the whistle on the corporation’s poison practices, or for otherwise questioning or opposing the GMO agenda, the centerpiece of which is Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate weed killer chemicals. The company has now lost three straight trials for failing to warn Roundup users that it raises the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Awards of $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion have been delivered by three juries, which all voted unanimously against Monsanto.

What’s at Stake for Monsanto

A Monsanto-made carcinogen, glyphosate – the main active ingredient listed in Roundup – now contaminates much of the world’s food supply, as well as the water, air, and soil that sustains us all.  Worldwide glyphosate contamination represents enormous potential liability for Monsanto, enough to destroy the poison giant altogether.  According to Natural News’ founder Mike Adams, anyone who has opposed Monsanto may have been subjected to one or more of the following dirty tactics:

  • Attempted bribery
  • Death threats and intimidation
  • Character assassination through well-funded “negative P.R.” campaigns
  • Defamation via coordinated Wikipedia attacks run by Monsanto operatives
  • Career destruction, such as getting scientists blacklisted from science journals
  • Being “doxxed” – having their home addresses publicized and their families and co-workers threatened

Monsanto has long been targeting Mike Adams and many others through what intelligence operatives call a “black ops” division. For more than ten years, Monsanto has spent perhaps $100 million or more, according to Mr. Adams, in coordinated efforts to silence, destroy, or character-assassinate anyone who has interfered or publicly questioned Monsanto’s market dominance and worldwide propaganda.

Now, at last, the criminal activity that Monsanto has carried out for years is finally being exposed, as law enforcement closes in on the crimes of the biotech bully now owned by Bayer.  According to Mr. Adams, Bayer appears to at least be making an effort to “clean house” and end Monsanto’s targeting of journalists, lawmakers, scientists (like Gilles-Eric Seralini), and regulators (like members of the International Agency for Research on Cancer) with intimidation and bribery campaigns.

Law enforcement prepares criminal charges against Monsanto operatives

“French prosecutors said on Friday they had opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto – acquired by Bayer for $63 billion last year – had kept a file of 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers in hopes of influencing their positions on pesticides,” Reuters reported.

This “hit list” of journalists and lawmakers was directly translated into action to intimidate, threaten, or bribe these individuals. Mr. Adams claims this criminal behavior also occurs in the US and he has been a victim of it.  He reports that a Monsanto spokesperson now confirms Monsanto used the list to take out anyone standing in the way of the Monsanto agenda:

“There have been a number of cases where – as they would say in football – not the ball was played but the man, or woman, was tackled,” Matthias Berninger admitted to to Reuters. Mr. Berninger acts as “head of public affairs and sustainability” for Monsanto.

In his statement, Mr. Berninger also admits Monsanto collected “non-publicity available data about individuals,” and then issued an apology from Bayer for the activity.

Related: France bans Glyphosate

Bayer Apologizes over Monsanto Black Ops “Initiative”

“Following an initial review, we understand that this initiative has raised concerns and criticism,” said Bayer in a May 12th public statement. “This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders. We apologize for this behavior.”

Monsanto Character Assassination Teams

Mr. Adams states that Natural News can reveal Monsanto hired black ops teams and private investigators to dig up the personal locations of individuals and their families. The company  then engaged in activities to threaten and intimidate those individuals while publicly smearing them online through coordinated, well-funded character assassination campaigns.

Mike Adams, who operates more than half a dozen web sites dealing with Monsanto and the GMO agenda, believes he has been “personally hunted by Monsanto-funded black ops teams who intended to destroy my credibility and physically harm my person in order to silence my public criticism of Monsanto and end the publishing of MonsantoMafia.comGMO.newsGlyphosate.news and the dozens of other websites that Monsanto did not want to see published.”

Mr. Adams has also been targeted by google, which has both de-listed and re-listed his web site at various times, and by YouTube, which disappeared his channel along with his more than 350,000 followers as part of a crackdown on what Google and YouTube have called “fake news.”

Mr. Adams stated on his web site: “This is a rare opportunity for Bayer to hear directly from the victims of the Monsanto ‘black ops’ division that Bayer likely was not aware it was acquiring when it purchased Monsanto, since the entire division operated in secret and relied on internal corporate money laundering to obfuscate its operations.”

Monsanto Black Ops revealed

The Texas-based “Health Ranger” has invited Bayer’s attorneys to contact him through his public contact page.  He said his attorneys are also contacting Bayer’s legal team to initiate discussions. Mr. Adams also notes that “The Food Babe,” Jeffrey Smith, and some 20 others in the independent media were targeted by Monsanto. If the LeMonde article about Monsanto targeting some 200 journalists in France is even close to being an accurate number, it’s not too far fetched to think that at least 20 journalists have been targeted by Monsanto in America. If Monsanto’s products are so harmless and so helpful, as the company says, if Monsanto is  producing something that people need, why does the company work so hard to propagandize the public and threaten those who exercise their free speech rights?

Stay tuned. . .

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FDA Recalls Mesh Products for Women

(April 17, 2019)  The US FDA announced yesterday that it was recalling all remaining surgical mesh products used on women to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP).  The FDA said it determined that Boston Scientific and Coloplast, makers of those plastic mesh products, had failed to demonstrate a reasonable assurance of their safety and effectiveness.  That assurance is the premarket review standard that had applied ever since the agency reclassified POP meshes as class III (high risk) in 2016.

That reclassification meant POP mesh makers were henceforth required to submit and obtain approval through premarket approval (PMA) applications.  PMA is the  FDA’s most stringent device review path for marketing medical devices in the US.

The agency said BSC and Coloplast now have 10 days to submit a plan to withdraw their products from the market.

FDA Announcement of April 16, 2019:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today ordered the manufacturers of all remaining surgical mesh products indicated for the transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) to stop selling and distributing their products in the U.S. immediately. The order is the latest in a series of escalating safety actions related to protecting the health of the thousands of women each year who undergo surgery transvaginally to repair POP.”

Transvaginal Mesh not FDA Approved

Plastic mesh to treat POP and SUI was never formally approved by the FDA in the usual PMA process.  These meshes were, rather, “cleared” under the auspices of the agency’s 510k program, which allows some devices to reach the market if the agency determines the product in question is substantially equivalent to a product already approved.  In the case of transvaginal mesh (TVM), that comparison has always been shaky at best. Polyurethane or plastic mesh was first used in hernia repair surgery in the mid 1970s, and even then it was shown to cause problems in some people.  The company that made the oil-based plastic product is on record as saying it should never be implanted in the human body, but medical device companies used it anyway, and continue to use it.

FDA Dr. Jeffrey Shuren

Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said, “In order for these mesh devices to stay on the market, we determined that we needed evidence that they worked better than surgery without the use of mesh to repair POP. That evidence was lacking in these premarket applications, and we couldn’t assure women that these devices were safe and effective long term.”

100,000 + TVM Lawsuits

A multi district litigation court was created to handle more than 100,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed over the plastic devices used to treat POP and SUI.  It was the largest ever MDL ever assembled. Jury trials resulted in several large verdicts for plaintiffs, and several thousands of cases were quietly settled for injured women.  Hundreds of TVM lawsuits are still on file, and more trials are ongoing.

FDA Recalls Mesh Products for Women

One lawyer, David Matthews, who won a large jury verdict in a TVM case and later settled several others, said: “The FDA has finally done what the mesh industry would not do on its own. The adverse event reports, which reflect less than 10% of actual injuries to the women implanted with this product, coupled with multiple large jury verdicts based on expert opinions, has shown the risks of these products far outweigh their benefits, if any. This is yet more evidence that the clearance process for these dangerous products is inadequate.  As lawyers who have been represented those injured by these defective products for more than eight years, we thank the FDA for declaring these plastic devices unfit for use.”

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Farmer died fighting Monsanto

At least one Wisconsin farmer died fighting Monsanto.  Mike O’Connell tried blowing the whistle on the biotech bully from Missouri before he died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. He wrote books of poems as well as letters to his political representatives and to local newspapers blowing the whistle and attempting to stop FDA approval of Monsanto’s insidious bovine growth hormone (rBGH), called Posilac.  He also refused to use Monsanto’s chemically-perverted GMO seeds and its Roundup poison on his own corn crops.

Fencing can’t stop Roundup

Mr. O’Connell may not, however, have mistrusted Monsanto enough. He did use Roundup to kill weeds on his farm property.  It was a choice which may have killed him.  His widow said he was drenched in Roundup on at least one occasion after a spill while mixing it in his barn.  He most certainly inhaled the poison for decades when his farm neighbors routinely sprayed it on their own corn and soy crops. A former college basketball player and restless athlete, he loved to walk for miles at night along the country roads lining his and his neighbors’ properties.

We are All Glyphosate Poisoned Now

Most of the farmers whose property surrounded the O’Connell farm regularly used Roundup on their crops.  The southern part of the state where he farmed for three decades is annually drenched in millions of gallons of Monsanto’s best-selling poison.  Fence lines can’t stop pesticide drift.  Tests show Roundup’s only listed active ingredient – glyphosate – is present in more than 90 percent of Americans. We are all being forcefed glyhosate in one form or another.  Even organic wine has been found to contain glyphosate, though in lower levels than conventionally-produced wine.  Glyphosate has been proven to contaminate our water, popular foods, wine, beer, and our vaccines. Yes, this known carcinogenic is being injected directly into the bloodstreams of babies and small children.

Time will tell just how many of us will die of lymphoma like Mr. O’Connell did, or of some other malady related to Roundup exposure.

Mike O’Connell’s story demonstrates that it probably doesn’t matter whether we liberally spray Roundup ourselves.  Tests have proven that glyophosate accumulates over time in the human body.  The more exposure one has, the more it accumulates. We’re not unlike fish who all swim in the same water.  We all breathe the same air, and like John Kennedy said in trying to stop the arms race, “We are all mortal.”

No Ordinary Farmer

Mike O’Connell was no ordinary farmer – if any fool could ever say there is any such thing as an “ordinary farmer.”  He graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in English, and then earned a Masters Degree in English from the University of Wisconsin.  He was teaching Journalism at a  high school in 1968 when he fell in love with the land in southern Wisconsin.  At age 25, he bought a small farm for $19,000, with a down payment of $3,000. In the next thirty years he would get an education in farming and its nearly complete takeover by corporate interests like Monsanto and its government and university enablers.

He saw how Monsanto gained FDA approval for bovine growth hormone despite the objections of thousands of farmers as well as scientists who showed that it was fraught with peril for both cows and human beings. One team of investigative reporters in Florida were muzzled and then fired — which later led to a whistleblower lawsuit which they won – after they unveiled the ugly truth about Monsanto’s BGH.  ln 1995, Mike O’Connell wrote a poem about the unholy alliance of Monsanto, the FDA and land grant universities like his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin.

One of his poetry collections – My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It – includes several poems calling out Monsanto for its dangerous products and surreptitious dealings with government regulators and educational institutions beholden to the biotech giant by virtue of its multi-million-dollar “contributions.”

Mike O’Connel wrote:

“The deep pockets of the chemical companies allowed them to buy influence for approval of Bovine Growth Hormone injections in State Legislatures and at the Food & Drug Administration. More discouraging was the way they were able to silence any dissent from within Land Grant Universities, institutions founded to preserve, protect, and defend family farms.

BGH had no redeeming social or economic value for farmers, cows, or consumers. But the prospect of a $26 million Biotech Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus was enough to guarantee undivided support from career-conscious faculty and extension agents.”

Dairy Science Christmas

After a decade of buying influence in high places, Monsanto finally gained FDA approval of its synthetic bovine growth hormone product, Posilac, just before the holidays in 1993.  By this time, some of the Monsanto researchers had taken posts inside the FDA, where they could pretend to be objective reviewers of their own company’s data.

God rest ye merry dairymen, let nothing you dismay.
You must accept this biotech, there is no other way.
A shot on Christmas Eve could mean more milk on Christmas Day.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now there will be some suffering, your finest cow may fall,
But you must keep the needle sharp, your back’s against the wall.
Don’t skip a single stanchion and don’t miss a single stall.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Before you go to church today, or after you come back,
Give your cows their Christmas gift, the gift of Posilac,
And pray to God that somehow you will get your money back.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Tonight there lies a baby in a manger far away.
He might not like to see the things we do to cows today.
But he still has his eyes closed – sssh! – don’t wake him right away.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

 

Farmer died fighting Monsanto

Mike O’Connell would no doubt be pleased to see that some people harmed by Monsanto have won dramatic jury verdicts — of $289 million and $80 million (though they’re on appeal, of course). Though justice against the biotech bully from St. Louis is coming late, at least Monsanto is being taken to task for its monstrous crimes against us all, against nature.  Mass chemical poisoning of our land, air, and water is not the answer to our food challenges.  One out of every two people will now develop cancer. This madness must end. We can’t both poison our food and eat it, too.  It was nothing but insanity to think that we ever could, the kind of insanity that Monsanto money drives. Nobody knew that lesson better than Mike O’Connell.

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Down goes Monsanto!

 (March 20, 2019 Like the underdog Muhammad Ali shocking the giant George Foreman in 1974, plaintiff Edwin Hardeman knocked biotech monster Monsanto to the canvas yesterday.  In a unanimous decision in a California court room, a jury of six declared that Monsanto’s Roundup caused Mr. Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The trial will now move to a phase two, a “damages” phase, which will somewhat untie Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys’ hands.  In this first phase which the plaintiff won yesterday with the unanimous decision, the plaintiff’s attorneys were allowed only to present evidence proving Roundup can cause cancer, and that it likely caused Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.

Attorneys not allowed to share evidence

Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys were not allowed to show any of Monsanto’s ongoing efforts to –

Monsanto has taken all these actions which the jury was not allowed to hear about in phase one.  (Hence the Foreman analogy; the behemoth Foreman appeared unbeatable, especially as he had youth and raw power on his side, just as Monsanto had the bifurcation power of the court on its side, as well as a judge who had once worked for a law firm which defended Monsanto.)

Some of Monsanto’s Machinations now Fair Game

In phase two of the trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys can now show the jury some of Monsanto’s devious moves behind-the-scenes to manipulate public opinion and ply federal regulators to help hide Roundup’s poison profile.

The key word is some.  Judge Vince Chhabria, who had granted Monsanto attorneys’ requests to handicap the plaintiff’s side by bifurcating the first Monsanto trial in federal court, is also keeping a tight rein on what evidence he will allow even now.

Since Mr. Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012, Chhabria has said that he will not allow evidence against Monsanto that came to light after that time.

Monsanto IARC Evidence Stifled

This ruling means that plaintiffs will not be allowed to show evidence of how Monsanto secretly hired ostensibly “objective” scientists to denounce the World Health Organization after its International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate in Roundup a probable human carcinogen in 2015.

The Seralini Affair Evidence Stifled

The jury will also not see evidence of how Monsanto used its media monies worldwide to attack French researcher Dr. Geiles Seralini after he performed a two-year rat study which showed how rats fed glyphosate developed hideous tumors.  That study was so threatening to Monsanto that the company quietly enlisted several scientists (who were on the company’s payroll in one way or another) to manufacture outrage about the legitimacy of the rat tumor study.  Monsanto also quietly (but not quietly enough, obviously, for it was all discovered later) had an editor installed at the offending journal, who then pulled the article from publication.  To this day, Monsanto claims that the Seralini study was pulled from publication because it failed a test of scientific legitimacy.  However, what Monsanto’s misinformation minions always fail to say is that there was such legitimate outrage in the honest scientific community over Monsanto’s subterfuge in the Seralini affair that the “pulled” journal article was re-peer reviewed and then re-published in another scientific journal.

There was nothing wrong with the Seralini study in the first place, which is why it was published in the first place and also why it was republished.

There was something wrong with Monsanto, there is something wrong with Roundup, and with Monsanto’s duplicitous and even arguably criminal actions, as there has always been something wrong with Monsanto.  Just as there is something wrong with Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone, something very wrong with Monsanto’s PCBs and a host of other toxic products which spread misery and death as they raise Monsanto profits.

We pray that the truth will out, and that more people, like the jury in California, will come to see that the vast poisoning of our world by Monsanto does not bode well for any of God’s creatures, who count on the humanity and intelligence of decent men and women everywhere to protect the bounty of the earth.  Religion is on our side and so is the science, as Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, by Steven M. Druker, shows us.

Down goes Monsanto!

George Foreman got religion in his later years, by his own admission.  He dropped the hateful bully routine and began to work at becoming a better human being.  Now, if only Monsanto would do the same, we could all be living in a better place.  Let’s all dare to dream.

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