India Fights Monsanto Patent Scam

(May 14, 2018)  India is fighting a Monsanto patent scam that gave Monsanto a near monopoly on India’s cotton industry.  India has finally taken a stand to deny seed patents that India now says Monsanto never had a right to own in the first place.  Last month, India rejected patents for Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton seeds Bollgard and Bollgard II.

Monsanto uses its patents in India, the US, and other countries to dictate what seed distributors can sell.  Monsanto controls agriculture by designating which genetically modified seeds farmers can use.

Related:  Monsanto Lawsuit

India’s Delhi High Court ruled last month that Monsanto’s Indian licensee, Nuziveedu Seeds, will no longer be bound by Monsanto’s patents.  The ruling means Nuziveedu Seeds can now sell seeds freely to farmers without being forced to distribute what Monsanto’s army of lawyers say they can sell.

Monsanto’s steady takeover of India’s cotton industry had made things increasingly difficult for Indian farmers.  Like any agriculture monopoly anywhere, Monsanto’s near monopoly of the country’s cotton industry has driven prices sky high and made farmers’ lives miserable. Thousands have committed suicide.

From Monsanto Suicide seeds:  “The region in India with the highest level of farmers suicides is the Vidharbha region in Maharashtra — 4000 suicides per year, 10 per day. This is also the region with the highest acreage of Monsanto’s GMO Bt cotton. Monsanto’s GM seeds create a suicide economy by transforming seed from a renewable resource to a non-renewable input which must be bought every year at high prices.”

Monsanto loses Patent it never had
A Nuziveedu Seeds lawyer – Diva Kapur – said Monsanto no longer has a patent on the seeds and “they have never had it.”  India’s Patents Act of 1970 states that plant varieties cannot be patented, no matter what has been done to the genetics of the seed.

Mr. Kapur said that Monsanto has “tried to hoodwink the seed companies and farmers for years claiming they have a patent and making huge amounts of money from that.”  “Tried” seems to be the wrong word, as the Monsanto scam to hoodwink India has worked for 20 years.

New Freedom for Farmers
Moving out from under the jackboots of Monsanto’s patent scam will help seed distributors and farmers more readily adapt to their own situation and climate, says EcoWatch.  It will help them make better decisions over what is best to grow in their region.  They will no longer be forced into the vicious cycle of buying Monsanto’s latest seed technology through strict patent enforcement.  The de-patenting could also free India from more of Monsanto’s infamous genetic experimentation.  Monsanto’s death grip on Indian agriculture has caused a growing crisis of increasing pest resistance.

India Fights Monsanto Patent Scam

The Delhi High Court ruling means the Nuziveedu seed company is no longer required to pay Monsanto exorbitant royalties.  Hallelujah to India farmers!

The ruling could also end a Monsanto joint venture with Mahyco Seeds Ltd., which could dismantle a seed license empire that controls nearly fifty domestic companies in India.

As Monsanto’s big profits dry up from the de-patenting, organic farmers and others who eschew poisonous chemical farming hope and pray Monsanto will leave India altogether.

EcoWatch.com

EcoWatch notes: “If Monsanto was all for ‘feeding the world’ then they would stay in India and help the farmers find out what works best for their climate and community needs.  Since Monsanto only gets involved in agriculture to control it, they will likely depart India as their patent control and perpetual profit dissipates. They may even be as arrogant as to fight the ruling, to regain control over India’s farmers.”

Since it is impossible to overestimate the arrogance, greed, and vindictiveness of Monsanto, we are sadly betting on Monsanto’s fighting India’s beaten-down farmers in India’s Supreme Court. If Monsanto can use its deep pockets to control the US court system and the US Congress – which it does with nauseating ease – what’s to stop it from manipulating the Indian courts?

Monsanto brings the pain to India Farming
When Monsanto first enticed India into trying its GM technology in 1995, many farmers quickly reaped higher yields of specific crops, most notably Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton. EcoWatch says the GM cotton seeds were successful at first, due to a pest-resistant trait called Bt – Bacillus thuringiensis.

But then the usual pests began to resist the genetically altered traits of Monsanto’s allegedly “superior” technology.  Cotton yields fell, but farmers were still forced to pay Monsanto royalties and eat the high cost of failed GM seeds.  Thousands of farmers were forced into a vicious cycle of debt and dependence.  Yields dropped to record lows. Debt suffocated their livelihood. Many farmers committed suicide.

The Monsanto-induced havoc forced the Indian government to regulate prices in 2006, and finally impose strict price controls on cotton seeds in 2016. (If India had done nothing, how many farmers did the country have left to sacrifice to Monsanto’s voracious appetite for unregulated profits?)

And now Monsanto is negotiating a merger with Bayer, a war criminal of a company that made Zyklon B gas used in WWII concentration camps, among other killer chemicals. That jibes with Monsanto’s own wretched history of helping produce Agent Orange, a toxic foliant that kills green plants and the people who depend on them to eat. Generations of Vietnamese children have suffered birth defects as a result.  These companies are birds of a feather.  They make things that kill, for astonishing profits, in the guise of helping humanity.

Some things never change, but we can change them, if we try. If we don’t, they may well change us, or kill us, like Indian farmers.  There is a most definitely an agenda, and most of us are at the wrong end of it. Or we’re like the suicided Indian farmers, being sold a bill of goods promoted as helpful, when in reality it is anything but.

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Healthcare Fraud Heart of America’s Dysfunctional Healthcare

Many people believe you get what you pay for, but nothing has ever been less true when you consider American healthcare. Over-prescribed medical devices – like heart stents, IVC filters, hernia mesh – are just one of many ways Americans are enticed into paying for things they don’t need. Or that they “need” like they need a hole in the head. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, in fact, often pay for medical treatments – which include medical devices like IVC filters – that can hurt more than help them. Extensive research has proven that many doctor-treated Americans are left worse off than they would have been had they chosen not to visit a doctor at all.

The Danger Within Us: Untested, Unregulated Medical Devices

In a widely acclaimed new book – The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive it – author Jeanne Lenzer accounts in painful detail how medical device and drug approval in our country is controlled by medical device and drug makers, not by our own FDA regulators.  The sad result creates a lot of unwitting victims.

US #43 in Mortality, #1 in Waste
Ms. Lenzer explains that the U.S. ranks a woeful #43 in life expectancy – below Costa Rica and Cuba, just ahead of Lebanon.  One huge problem, she says, is “squandering our resources on ill-advised treatments.”

Here’s one bombshell from the book: “The US spends trillions of dollars on healthcare each year, and 20-30 percent of that care is considered unnecessary.”  We may be #43 in mortality, but we’re an undisputed #1 in wasting money on ill-advised “healthcare.”

225,000 – 444,000 Americans Killed by “Healthcare” every year!
Beyond wasting resources, many treatments wreak severe, even mortal harms.  Unnecessary medical interventions, which include medical device implants, are now the third leading cause of death in our country.  Unnecessary medical treatments in the US kill an estimated 225,000 to 440,000 Americans each year. (You can’t make this stuff up!)  Ms. Lenzer points out that’s “more deaths than from diabetes, murder, car accidents, and AIDS combined.”

Medical Treatment Deaths Dwarf Gun Violence Deaths, but MSM Mum
So where’s the outrage? Every time the media trumpets another mysterious mass shooting or potential false flag, the public is stirred by agents provocateur on all the mainstream media outlets, while medical doctors, manipulated by Big Pharma and medical device makers into over-prescribing dangerous drugs and dubious medical devices, are killing hundreds of thousands more than guns or state-sponsored terrorists are.  HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MORE.

So where is the sense of perspective?  Where is the sense of proportion? Where is any sense of rational thinking? Why don’t we hear about this deadly issue in our major media? Why is CBS not interested? Where is CNN when you need real news?  Why doesn’t Fox run a show on this problem KILLING HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of AMERICANS?

Look no further than all those drug commercials on your TV screen. Drug makers, which often make medical devices as well, account for the lion’s share of advertising money for television stations. Will they bite the hand that feeds them? Only by turning off the television “news” and doing your own research on the web can you find any truth, if you can navigate through the web’s seemingly endless sea of disinformation, which is also mostly paid for by Big Pharma and its many corporate partners and subsidiaries.

Healthcare Fraud Heart of America’s Dysfunctional Healthcare

“Healthcare” – and because the state of ours is so woeful it seems only honest to put that word in quotation marks – has become the single biggest sector of the US economy. US “healthcare” is an industry, period.  It exists to make money.  If it existed to care for people, we would not be 43rd in mortality.  If it existed to care for people, our “healthcare” system would not kill 225,000 to 444,000 people yearly.  The proof IS in the pudding.  US “healthcare” dwarfs even the military-industrial complex spending that President Eisenhower warned us about.  The military-murder industry eats a paltry $1.3 trillion yearly, while “healthcare” expenditures in 2015 topped $3.2 trillion, gobbling up nearly one of every five dollars spent in the country.

And just like there’s an enormous lot of waste in military spending, the difference is that healthcare spending waste is more easily quantified.  Just look at the numbers.  While dozens of countries’ citizens live longer and healthier lives than Americans do (recall that we are #43 in mortality), the US is easily #1 in the world in healthcare spending, “far surpassing all other countries,” writes Jeanne Lenzer.

Murder by Injection
For a fuller account of how your “healthcare” system became so broken, read Murder by Injection, by Eustace Mullins, published in 1988.  Mr. Mullins details just how Rockefeller Medicine took over what in the US had been a broad range of alternative choices for one’s actual healthcare. John D. Rockefeller, a Rothschild agent, created the Flexner Report, which demonized any medical practitioner not accredited by a university which followed the Rockefeller dictates for “healthcare.”

The idea was to make patent medicines the only ones approved for use in the US and in Europe, and to make criminals of anyone not practicing Rockefeller-style medicine.  The term “quack” was often used by Rockefeller agents cornering the healthcare market. The plan to monopolize our healthcare system took giant lucrative steps with the invention of chemotherapy, which then and now causes much more cancer than it cures, eventually killing most of the people who submit to it.

The Profits of Cancer – the War on Cancer Hoax

Trillions and trillions of dollars have been spent in the so-called “War on Cancer,” which has been an unmitigated flop.  But the big cancer  “war” has made many oncologists and doctors wealthy, if not any healthier than the people they help kill with chemo.  The so-called War on Cancer has also greatly enriched the coffers of the American Cancer Society, which has never cured anything save for cash-flow problems among its executive officers.

And just as the profits of cancer never stop flowing for the American Cancer Society and other medical concerns engaged in the very lucrative cancer-for-profit industries, the profits of the medical device makers and pharmaceutical drug pushers never stop growing, despite their often dubious results.

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Hog Farm neighbors win $50 million Jury Award

(April 27, 2018)  A North Carolina jury awarded $50 million to neighbors of a huge Chinese-owned hog farm in Eastern North Carolina yesterday.  The jury deliberated less than two days.  The case was the first in a series of federal lawsuits filed against Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of the Chinese global food giant Smithfield Foods.  The world’s largest pork producer was sued over its 15,000-hog farm in Carolina.

In a federal courtroom in Raleigh, the hog farm neighbors’  lawyers focused on the continued use of “anaerobic lagoons” behind the livestock pens. Hog waste was stored there, liquefied, then sprayed onto nearby fields.

Ten neighbors alleged that industrial-sized hog operations have known for decades that the open-air sewage pits on their properties were the source of noxious, sickening, overwhelming odors.  Neighbors said the stench was so thick it was impossible to remove it from their clothes.  They say odors and mist from the spray drift onto their property; that the hogs attract swarms of flies, buzzards, and gnats; that boxes filled with rotting dead hogs produce an especially pungent odor; that the rotting smells has limited their ability to go outside.

The plaintiffs argued that the Chinese company’s waste-management practices are the problem that creates a public nuisance. Smithfield Foods has not changed its method of disposal since the 1980s and ’90s.

U.S. Pork Costs lower than China’s
The neighbors’ attorneys argued that waste treatment methods have evolved but Smithfield Foods has not.  The neighbors’ attorneys said pork production operations in Eastern North Carolina have not changed their methods because it keeps operational costs lower than in China.

Michelle Nowlin, the supervising attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Duke Law and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, said by email that the verdict “(is) a significant victory for the community members who live next to these factory feedlots. They have suffered indescribable insults, not just from the immediate impacts of the feedlots themselves, but also from decades of government failure to come to their aid. Litigation was their last chance for justice, and this verdict and award will help them move forward.

“This verdict proves, once and for all, that ‘cheap meat’ is a myth. Someone pays the price of production, and for far too long, that burden has been on the rural communities that are home to North Carolina’s factory farms. This verdict forces the industry to internalize and reckon with those costs. I’m hopeful this decisive victory will be a game-changer in North Carolina and force the industry to modernize its waste-treatment, to the benefit of rural communities, the environment, and the farmers themselves.”

Smithfield calls Lawsuit an Attack on Farmers

Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods, painted the verdict as an attack on industry and contract farms. She said in a statement, “We are extremely disappointed by the verdict. (These) lawsuits are an outrageous attack on animal agriculture, rural North Carolina and thousands of independent family farmers who own and operate contract farms. These farmers are apparently not safe from attack even if they fully comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.”

Hog Farm neighbors win $50 million Jury Award

The $50.75 million verdict would be equally divided among the ten plaintiffs. The verdict orders  each plaintiff to receive $75,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but that amount seems likely to be drastically reduced by North Carolina tort reform law, written by corporations in tandem with state government representatives.  A Smithfield attorney has already noted that North Carolina law restricts punitive damages to no more than $250,000.

Animal Rights Matter
In a related matter, maybe this verdict and future trials will also begin to shed more light on the horrendous conditions in which pigs and other animals are “raised” and tortured for slaughter on factory farms.  The hogs have their internecine revenge through the morbid obesity, heart disease, and cancer that eating them indiscriminately visits on most of us, but there’s also a moral element of torturing and killing sentient beings that should concern all Christian folks.

Raising your own hogs on a small farm which has ample room for them and then killing them in a humane fashion is one thing.  Cramming them all into filthy, tiny enclosures, separating piglets from their mothers at birth, treating them all as if they have no feelings or animal intelligence, is not the path to heaven from this earth.  People would do well to find out where their food is coming from, how it is raised and slaughtered, before indiscriminately eating whatever meat is thrown them on a plate.

The Superstructure of Brutality
It’s not enough to be a part of the superstructure of brutality and just plead ignorance, and make yourself fatter until you die of a heart attack, stroke or diabetes from indiscriminate eating of factory-farmed and tortured animals.  God is watching us, always, and watching over the animals, too.  Our having dominion over the animals, as the Bible teaches, does not mean that we are free to mistreat them however we please.

Free Legal Consultation

Our law firm is investigating environmental pollution cases such as this one concerning a factory farm.  If you have been sickened, nauseated, or otherwise personally polluted by a factory farm near you, contact us today for a free legal consultation regarding a potential environmental lawsuit against the company that owns the factory farm.

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California Bill to Stifle Free Speech

(April 9, 2018)  A California senator who led the charge to kill informed consent for vaccinations in California just introduced a bill to stifle free speech in the state.

Jon Rappoport, in his ‘No More Fake News’ web site, reported the story, which is flying under the radar, by design, of course.  California Senator Richard Pan, the Merck Pharmaceuticals beneficiary behind the infamous 2015 law mandating vaccinations (which Merck makes with fraudulent data) for schoolchildren (the infamous SB277), now seeks to end free speech in California.  Mr. Pan’s draconian bill has dangerously far-reaching implications (if you believe in the 1st amendment); for it threatens to reach far beyond the state’s poorly secured borders.

The California senator’s new bill would clamp down on criticism of any Official Story.  If it passes, when a government agency – such as the hopelessly corrupt CDC, drug-industry compromised FDA, politically-compromised FBI, or honesty-challenged CIA – puts out an “official story,” any blog or comment which veers from that script will be subject to censorship, or “warnings.”  The end point for Mr. Pan and his corporate sponsors is to make readers swallow any official story without questioning its methods, motives, or dirty money trail.  Mr. Pan’s slippery financial ties to drug companies like Merck make it in his best interests to stifle the truth.

The bill to censor the free flow of information is titled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan.”  SB1424 ostensibly targets social media based in California, but, as Mr. Rappoport writes, “as you read the bill, you see it appears to define social media as any Internet blog, website, or communication.”

Mr. Rappoport has recorded the whole brief bill for us. Here it is:

SB1424
This bill would require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.

(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.

(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.

(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(c) As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.

Who will be able to afford to hire “fact checkers”?  Not the alternative web sites you depend on to clarify the fake news so often put out by CNN or The New York Times.  Those and other MSM outlets were  responsible for repeating ad nauseam the fake news regarding a non-existent WMD threat from Iraq.   Those MSM lies launched the 17-year-long war and occupation which has now claimed more than a million lives.  And even if independent news outlets could afford “fact checkers,” they would need to be officially sanctioned, no doubt.  And nothing could prevent Pan’s corporate friends from banning or placing warnings all over any videos they deemed “inappropriate” for whatever reason they might choose.

Only the very large news outlets that dominate the mainstream media – Fox Noise, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, USA Today – and a select few others in print and online will be able to stay in business.  Only the publications that never tell us anything useful will be able to have their stories “fact checked.”   The idea is to bury all truth about dangerous vaccines, (MMR, Shingles, Gardasil. . . ) Monsanto’s Roundup cancer herbicide, harmful GM foods, toxic chemical farming, the aerial poisoning of the entire country, water fluoridation and other water problems, nanobots, Black-Ops, EMF dangers, banking crimes, endless undeclared war, unchecked immigration, our growing fascist police state, and many other corporatocracy crimes and subterfuges.

Under the guise of protecting children, Mr. Pan forced parents to give up their parental rights and turn them over to the government.  California law now says the children must submit to whatever vaccinations the government – along with Merck and the government’s other corporate partners – declare that they “need.”

Under the guise of combating “fake news,” Mr. Pan now leads the charge to wipe out all mainstream news competition.  He wants to be sure that MSM newsfakers are the only ones to which we will have unfettered access, to better keep all his dirty work and dirty money in the dark.

Speech Criminals
Mr. Rappoport explains that if this bill passes, agencies of the California government will develop numerous regulations for enforcement, including penalties for “speech criminals.”

This bill would not violate the 1st Amendment so much as wipe it out altogether.

Anything which Mr. Pan and his cronies would label a “conspiracy theory” – a term which the CIA put out in its infamous internal 1967 memo that sought to silence all criticism of the fact-challenged Warren Commission report that most of the country knew was full of lies – will be censored.  Warnings on any blog, comment or story not officially sanctioned will make most people turn away, if not run.  The idea is to make people afraid of their own shadow, like the CNN newsfaker Chris Cuomo telling us last year that only CNN was allowed to read Wikileaks leaked emails, that it was illegal for the rest of us to do so.

CNN Liar Tries to Scare Americans

Related:   Facebook Censorship and the Execrable Snopes

We Need a Tsunami of Protest in California

Mr. Rappoport calls for a “relentless tsunami of protest in California over this Orwellian bill.”  Anything less than that could turn these hounds of hell loose on all news not sanctioned by Richard Pan and the dysfunctional state he leads into one bad law after another.

Jon Rappoport explains:
“In case you believe there are too many websites and blogs based in California to enforce a new draconian law, let me explain how the game works. Behind closed doors, the state government would decide to focus on a few big issues. For example, gun control, vaccines, and immigration. Enforcement agencies would go after the biggest Internet operations expressing politically unacceptable points of view on those subjects. At first. A spread of smaller operations would feel the heat later.

So-called fact checkers would come from government supported groups who agree with Official Positions. In other words, they wouldn’t be fact checkers at all. They would be prime news fakers.”

When it comes to vaccines, for one example (like the awful shingles vaccine), they would cite the notoriously biased “experts” at the Centers for Disease Control, never mentioning that CDC buys and sells $4 billion of vaccines a year, and is hopelessly corrupt, partnering with Big Pharma and industry rather than regulating them.

California Bill to Stifle Free Speech

If we can’t crush this bill, we may not be able to hang on to what little is left of our ever-vanishing democracy.  Expect all the mainstream news whores and fakers to stand solidly behind it, because they are working for outlets which will be protected by it, as it seeks to wipe out their independent competition across the world.  Everyone knows by now that many, many non-mainstream, independent news outlets are way better, and more honest, than the MSM at reporting actual news that matters.  And way better at giving us the truth that the MSM so studiously avoids disclosing, so as not to displease their corporate sponsors and masters.

It’s a dirty world, but we could clean it up, if we can first identify the main sleaze bags doing the dirty work for Empire, people like California Senator Richard Pan.

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$37M Asbestos Talc Verdict against J&J

(April 5, 2018) A New Jersey jury today hit Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier with a $37 million   judgment over claims from a man who said he developed mesothelioma after using J&J’s asbestos-containing talcum powder over several decades.

In a trial that lasted more than two months, jurors sided with plaintiff Stephen Lanzo, III and his wife. The jury found that J&J’s products, including its baby powder, contained asbestos. Further, it found that Mr. Lanzo’s exposure to asbestos since the 1970s played a substantial role in his contracting mesothelioma, a deadly disease.

The jury awarded compensatory damages of $30 million to Mr. Lanzo, $7 million to his wife, Kendra.  They held Johnson & Johnson 70 percent responsible for the damages, its talc supplier –  Imerys Talc America Inc. – 30 percent responsible.

Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi asked the jury to return on Tuesday, April 10, for a punitive damages phase in the case.

$37M Asbestos Talc Verdict against J&J

In closing arguments, attorneys for Mr. Lanzo and his wife, Kendra, and defense lawyers for Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, strongly disagreed over the nature of tests performed by J&J.

A J&J attorney had claimed that the testing Johnson & Johnson and others did on J&J talc never turned up asbestos in either J&J’s talc mines or in its products on store shelves.  He said the plaintiffs may have presented studies showing certain minerals in J&J’s talc, but they didn’t have evidence that those minerals were asbestos.  He told the jury as much in his closing argument Monday.

In stark contrast, Mr. Lanzo’s attorney countered on Tuesday in his closing argument that the company’s talcum powder contained asbestos for years.  He claimed J&J hid that fact from consumers and regulators by using tests that it knew would fail to detect the toxic mineral.

“They came up with the method that was never going to find the asbestos that was there,” he told jurors, “so they could certify that they looked and never found it.”

The jury apparently believed the plaintiff’s version of J&J’s testing.

J&J won one similar lawsuit against the company last year, but it faces many more in which plaintiffs claim they’ve suffered mesothelioma from long exposure to J&J talcum powder products.

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Just For Men Lawsuits

“Just for Men” hair and facial dye products may cause severe chemical burns and allergic reactions.  Affected men have reported swelling, scarring, and facial disfigurement.  Just For Men lawsuits may be filed for these problems.

Our product liability lawyers are reviewing “Just For Men” lawsuits for men throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.  If you have suffered injury after using “Just For Men” products, contact us for a free legal consultation.

What is “Just For Men”?

“Just For Men” hair coloring was originally released in 1987 by Combe, Inc.  The product is advertised as a hair, beard, and mustache dye for covering up gray hair. There are many products in the Just For Men line to darken gray hair, from beard and mustache coloring kits to hair and side burns.  Some are even designed to add accents of gray to hair.

In recent years, growing numbers of men have reported severe chemical burns and other allergic reactions after using “Just For Men.”

Just For Men problems / side effects:

•  Allergic reactions

•  Skin burns

•  Skin swelling

• Severe itching

•  Blisters and weeping sores

•  Trouble breathing due to throat swelling

Just For Men Allergic Reactions

Hundreds of men have reported adverse reactions.  Many have reported using Just For Men for years without incident, but then they suddenly suffered severe chemical burns and facial swelling. Many of the “Just For Men” problems emerged long after the men used the product.

While some have speculated that the company changed the formulation of Just For Men, Combe officials have publicly denied changing their popular formula.  If Combe is to be believed, sudden allergic reactions among men could possibly be linked to changes in a person’s body chemistry.

What is p-phenylenediamine?

“Just For Men” hair dyes contain p-Phenylenediamine, an organic compound considered to be one of the world’s most prevalent allergens.  People are exposed to p-phenylenediamine (PPD) primarily through permanent hair dyes which rely on chemical reactions (oxidaton) to fix the color.  PPD reacts with hydrogen peroxide to permanently bind the color to the hair.  PPD is part of a class of chemicals called aromatic amines, which are found in the plastic and chemical industries as byproducts of manufacturing.  PPD is also used in the manufacture of rubber and certain polymers such as Kevlar.  It also acts as a developing agent in photography.

PPD was declared Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2006.  It has also been suspected of causing cancer.

PPD and Cancer

Aromatic amines in hair dyes such as PPD have long been suspected of being carcinogenic.  They are linked to increased incidence of bladder cancers, though studies examining cancer risk of PPD have found conflicting results.  the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that it is unable to classify the carcinogenicity of p-phenylenediamine.

Hair Dye Allergies on the Rise – NIH

The National Institutes of Health noted in 2007 that allergic reactions to hair dye were on the rise, apparently because more and more people were dying their hair.   Allergic reactions became such a serious problem in the 20th century that PPD was banned from hair dyes in Germany, France, and Sweden.  In the U.S., where corporations are more likely to call the shots on chemicals, it’s buyer (and user) beware!

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Allergy to Hair Dye – NIH

•  Just For Men Lawsuits

•  www.SafeCosmetics.org

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Driverless Uber Kills Pedestrian

(March 22, 2018) A driverless uber car killed a pedestrian in Arizona on March 18. It was the first reported pedestrian death linked to a driverless uber car. The incident caused Uber Technologies Inc. to temporarily pull its self-driving cars off the roads. Uber has been testing driverless cars in the U.S. and Canada.

The uber vehicle struck a woman Sunday night as she was pushing her bicycle on a street. Tempe, Arizona police said the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety operator at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle.

The police said Ms. Herzberg later died of her injuries, after she was hit by the Uber Volvo as it was traveling around 40 mph. They said the car didn’t show any signs of slowing, and the Uber “driver” in the car was not impaired.

An Uber spokeswoman said Uber is investigating the incident and cooperating with authorities. So far, the only thing clear about the accident is that it confirmed the worst fears of critics who have sounded the alarm for years that driver-less cars would eventually kill somebody.

The Wall Street Journal, always ready to help promote any technology if it might make some corporation richer, reported that auto makers and technology companies have “braced for this inevitability but contend that the technology will ultimately save thousands of lives by eliminating human error.” (If it doesn’t eliminate thousands of humans first – people like Elaine Herzberg walking their bikes, say, or people jaywalking in stop and go traffic, expecting that some human being will have a heart and not run them down, because they know that the most dangerous place to cross some city streets is in a marked crosswalk.)

The biggest auto makers, like Toyota and GM, along with tech giants like Uber and Alphabet, Inc., are spending billions of dollars on driverless car technology. They hope to replace human drivers and turn the car travel world upside down.  Some technology company with the “right” design might be able to replace Toyota or GM as the transportation king of the world.

Uber calls its self-driving plans “existential” (whatever the hell that means in this context).  It just settled a costly lawsuit with rival Alphabet’s self-driving unit, Waymo, over what the latter alleged were stolen trade secrets.

WSJ reported that Uber has logged more than three million test miles in self driving cars. Waymo has conducted more than five million.

All those test miles did nothing for Elaine Herzberg, who only wanted to walk her bike on the side of the road, in the bike lane, and not get murdered.  But that was asking too much where profits are concerned.  (At least a human driver could have shed a tear and said he was sorry.)

Waymo, meanwhile, plans to begin commercial robot taxi services in Phoenix this year, as federal and state regulators are allowing Uber, Waymo and others to test their unproven technology on public roads.  More than 50 companies are licensed in California alone, with the caveat that they also have human operators in the car.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said they were sending people to Tempe to investigate the death of Ms. Herzberg.  NHTSA said it was in touch with Uber, state and local authorities, and Volvo, the car maker Uber uses for self-driving vehicles.

Tesla Death in 2016
Tesla Inc. was the first to kill a human being in a self-driving car.  One of Tesla’s Model S electrics on “Autopilot” killed a man in a May 2016 collision on a Florida highway.  NHTSA said Tesla’s technology was not defective, while NTSB said Tesla shared blame by failing to include enough safeguards. Tesla, of course, defended itself. It said Autopilot makes its cars safer. Safer than what? One might ask.

Those cheerleading for driverless technology point to government figures that 94% of crashes involve human error.  U.S. road accidents killed 37,461 people in 2016.

Those pushing driverless technology trumpet the safety benefits, even though there are plenty of other factors to consider, including the autonomy of secular human beings. You probably won’t hear a lot about that as internet, television, and newspaper media will help promote this technology with few questions about its long-term costs and consequences to actual human beings, but it’s something to keep in mind, say, as you are walking your bike on the side of the road, or ordering your next Uber ride.  For whatever reasons you prefer, would you not like to be able to choose an actual person as opposed to a robot on wheels?

Hey Uber, Have a Heart. Give us an option.
Hey, Uber, how about an option as you move forward with your robot cars?  For those of us who value American jobs and people and maybe don’t mind paying a little extra for a human being rather than for a robot, you would be wise to give us the option of ordering either an actual human driver or a robot-driven car.  If you don’t give us the option, we’ll use Lift, or perhaps a local taxi service that doesn’t use robots.  You aren’t the only game in town, and we don’t appreciate your taking away American jobs to drive up your own profits. Thousands of human Uber drivers now count on us human riders for a living, and we are glad to help give them one.  Are we not?

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Judge calls Expert Testimony Against Roundup “Shaky”

A California judge has indicated that lawsuits against Monsanto’s Roundup in his court may be difficult to pursue.  The federal judge dealt a potential death blow to a lawsuit claiming Roundup causes cancer when he concluded last week that the plaintiff’s experts’ testimony against Roundup is “shaky.”  The case, as well as hundreds of others filed in the federal MDL, now stands in danger of not getting to trial.

First Judge to Opine on Roundup Toxicity

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is the first judge to opine on the toxicity of Roundup, the world’s most popular poison. Roundup has been the center of controversy for more than 30 years, since the U.S. EPA bent its own rules and regulations to allow it on the market. The judge has indicated he may cut several or all of the plaintiff’s key witnesses, which could make the case impossible to pursue in his court. Such a move could also profoundly impact the outcome of more than 300 Monsanto lawsuits in his court. That’s the number of cases in federal courts trying to hold Monsanto liable for failing to warn about Roundup’s cancer risks.

Chhabria heard from about a dozen witnesses including toxicologists, statisticians and an oncologist. He took special interest in two epidemiologists who study how humans contract disease.

Chhabria said on March 14 that he has a “difficult time understanding how an epidemiologist in the face of all the evidence that we saw and heard last week can conclude that glyphosate is in fact causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma in human beings.” The judge called the evidence that glyphosate is currently causing NHL in human beings “pretty sparse.”  The judge was apparently impressed by all the Monsanto-sponsored studies the chemical giant had trotted out earlier to exonerate glyphosate.

The judge also seemed to have fallen for Monsanto’s ploy, which it has gotten away with for decades, through the EPA and other regulatory bodies, to test only glyphosate, instead of the entire concoction of Roundup, which experts estimate to be 1,000 more toxic than glyphosate alone.  Nobody uses glyphosate alone, but Monsanto has been able to make that substance the key to the whole poison puzzle.

Reuters reported that it remains to be seen which witnesses the judge will allow to testify at trial on behalf of more than 700 farmers, landscapers and gardeners. All claim that exposure to glyphosate – through skin contact or inhalation — caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Judge Chhabria appeared to give some credit to Beate Ritz, a public health professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, for having conducted independent analysis.  Still, he called Ms. Ritz’ conclusion that glyphosate causes NHL in humans “dubious.”  He indicated she might be the only witness he allows to testify for the plaintiffs, but even she is at risk of elimination.

Why Not Let a Jury Decide?

Monsanto isn’t completely off the hook, based on what Chhabria said last week.  At this stage he is acting as a corporate gatekeeper to exclude evidence not backed by what he calls scientific rigor, or to at least give the appearance that he is doing so. (Politics frequently prevails in federal court; there’s no way around that fact.)  His position allows him to decide which witnesses are qualified as “experts” who can present their conclusions to a jury. Chhabria said his role is to decide whether the testimony is “in the range of reasonableness,” not whether glyphosate causes cancer.  If you think “reasonableness” is an awfully broad, subjective term, you are exactly right, in your own subjective way.  Why not let a jury decide?

Chhabria also termed the epidemiology for Roundup causing cancer as “loosey-goosey” and called it a “highly subjective field.” (Isn’t that what trials are for?)  But Chhabria may not be able to ride roughshod over all the plaintiffs’ cases.  Some constraints for eliminating witnesses may leave the plaintiffs’ room for Ritz to testify, he conceded.  Maybe Ritz “is operating within the mainstream of the field,” he said.  “Maybe that means it’s up for the jury to decide if they buy her presentation.”

Chhabria’s use of the word “buy” clearly shows his bias against the plaintiff’s case(s).

The judge noted that Ritz was the only plaintiff’s expert not to rely on a 2015 determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization.  He said that wasn’t enough to argue exposure to glyphosate is more likely than not the cause of the plaintiffs’ cancer.  (A fair legal assessment)

A lawyer for the group suing Monsanto, said “the weight of the epidemiology, toxicology and mechanistic science strongly supports” the conclusion that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  “Our experts used valid methodologies to arrive at their conclusions,” he said in a  statement emailed to Reuters.  “Ultimately, we think courts will agree.”

Judge calls Expert Testimony Against Roundup “Shaky”

Judge Chhabria apparently already does not agree, so good luck to plaintiffs in these cases. Our prayers go out to them, and to the truth of Roundup toxicity, that the facts  may all come clear in this litigation.  Let the truth come out!

The case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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Roundup causes Cancer, Experts tell Judge

(March 6 2018) A parade of experts testified to a judge in California this week that Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer.  The testimony came as part of the first trial in the country against Monsanto over its popular weedkiller Roundup.  U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria heard evidence from several plaintiffs’ experts who said Roundup causes cancer, and then he heard testimony from several Monsanto experts who claimed Roundup is perfectly safe and no evidence suggests otherwise. What conclusion could anyone draw but that “Science” takes on a whole new meaning where Roundup is concerned.

Related:  Monsanto Lawsuit

Before jury selection gets underway in this first scheduled trial, Monsanto seeks to stop the Roundup litigation in its tracks by having the judge dismiss the case on the grounds that no science links Roundup with cancer.  If Judge Chhabria were to rule that no credible evidence shows Roundup causes cancer, or that plaintiffs don’t have the right “experts” to prove up the cases, Monsanto could escape prosecution in some 350 cases in California, and, potentially, in all 3,500 cases filed against the company for Roundup cancer cases nationwide.

The arguments from both sides came in a six-hour hearing before Judge Chhabria, presiding over the federal multidistrict litigation, and California Superior Court Judge Iona Petrou, handling similar claims in state court.  The experts testified that there was statistically significant evidence showing prolonged exposure to glyphosate – Roundup’s primary active ingredient – raises one’s chances of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

A hematopathologist employed at City of Hope National Medical Center testified that several epidemiological studies he examined showed glyphosate could double one’s chance of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dennis Weisenburger said that between those studies and several animal studies explained two possible ways glyphosate causes cancer. He said he was convinced of a correlation between glyphosate and the disease.

Glyphosate Genotoxic in Living Cells
Mr. Weisenburger said he synthesized all the information and weighed it as a whole.  He said, “There’s good data to conclude exposure to glyphosate increases the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  (There’s) a body of evidence that’s pretty compelling that glyphosate and its formulations are genotoxic in living cells.”

Monsanto has tried to have the case thrown out on a technicality concerning “expert” testimony. Law360 reported that Monsanto’s motion for summary judgment argues that the Roundup cases should be thrown out because “testimony proposed by six plaintiffs’ experts failed to meet the admissibility requirements for scientific evidence as set by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Daubert standard.”  Monsanto argued that the plaintiffs’ experts used “results-driven methods” to show evidence that links Roundup’s glyphosate with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Testimony: Glyphosate Doubles Cancer Risk

Dr. Beate Ritz testified at length. An occupational and environmental epidemiologist, she reviewed the validity of studies based on sample size, statistical significance and research biases.  She lauded a famous Swedish study which found glyphosate doubles the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and also a Canadian study which found similar results for farmers exposed to Roundup more than two times per year.

A Monsanto attorney on cross examination pointed out that most of the studies Dr. Ritz referred to did not consider other possible pesticide exposures.

Judge Chhabria said, “This continues to be an issue for me.  I still don’t understand how or why it would be a bad idea to adjust for other pesticide exposure.”

AHS Study Deeply Flawed
Dr. Ritz also attacked the Agricultural Health Study, a National Institute of Health analysis begun in 1993 which found no correlation between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in North Carolina and Iowa farmers.  Dr. Ritz acknowledged some merits of the study, but said its glyphosate results were deeply flawed.  She said the AHS first surveyed the farmers in the 1990s, but when NIH returned for an update years later, a third of the original farmers failed to follow up.  She also said that glyphosate use was rare at the beginning of the study, but heavy by the follow-up date.

“The use of glyphosate changed mid-baseline,” she testified.  “I have to downgrade the importance of the AHS study that otherwise, I really love.  I just can’t take it seriously.  All the other effects are drowned out in the noise of exposure misclassification.”

Roundup causes Cancer, Experts tell Judge

The AHS study was obviously on both sides’ minds as potentially pivotal in these cases. Monsanto’s VP of Global Strategy lauded it, telling Law360 after the testimony that AHS was “the largest epidemiological study of glyophosate ever.”

We haven’t heard the last word from the AHS study, or from Monsanto, or plaintiffs who believe their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was caused by Roundup exposure.

Stay tuned. . .

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First Roundup Trial begins this week

(March 6, 2017)  The first Roundup trial begins this week in California in the multi district litigation court set up to handle all the federal claims against Monsanto’s flagship product. Overall, Monsanto faces thousands of cancer lawsuits in the U.S. which claim the company’s Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto, meanwhile, has publicly proclaimed that Roundup is safe, while working privately to influence (or manipulate) chemical regulatory bodies and government agencies here and abroad. The lone objective scientist allowed to testify last year about the cancer hazards of Roundup before the U.S. House of Representatives’ House Science Committee– to “balance” a contingent of three Monsanto-connected mouthpieces – has that story pinned up and bleeding from every angle.  To understand how your government works (or doesn’t), please read Jennifer Sass’ remarkable expose: Monsanto Mouthpieces House Science Committee

Related: Monsanto Campaign to Attack Seralini Study Revealed

Monsanto Lawsuits
More than 365 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto Co. in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, at the site of the first trial. Plaintiffs in those suits all allege that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Their petitions also claim Monsanto covered up the risks of Roundup exposure. The cases have been combined into a multidistrict litigation court under Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is 3:16-md-02741-VC. Thousands of other people have filed similar claims against Monsanto in state courts. Plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate the total number of plaintiffs nationwide at 3,500.

First Roundup Trial – June 18, 2018
The first Roundup trial is set for June 18, 2018 in Superior Court for the County of San Francisco.

On March 13th, 2017, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled, over Monsanto’s objections, that certain documents obtained by plaintiffs through discovery could be unsealed. Some of those documents include internal emails between Monsanto and the U.S. EPA which strongly hint at unseemly collusion between the agency and the chemical giant it’s supposed to be regulating. They also show Monsanto working behind the scenes to discredit the IARC, which ruled in 2015 that glyphoste, the main ingredient in Roundup, is probably carcinogenic to humans.

First Roundup Trial begins this week
Live testimony from witnesses is set to begin the week of March 5, 2018. Argument from counsel is scheduled for the week of March 12 or the week of March 19. Claims Construction Hearing is set for 3/5/2018 through 3/9/2018 09:00 a.m. A Motion Hearing for Summary Judgment and Daubert Motion on General Causation begins 3/5/2018 in Courtroom 8, 19th Floor, San Francisco.

The schedule before California before Judge Vince Chhabria: Monday, March 5, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday, March 8, 2018 – 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Friday, March 9, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Monsanto Papers
Roundup has been a controversial product since it was first unleashed on U.S. lands and people in the mid 1980s. The U.S. EPA initially listed glyphosate – Roundup’s only listed active ingredient – as probably carcinogenic to human beings (in 1985), and then inexplicably shifted course in 1991,  green-lighting it for massive spraying.  A revolving door between U.S. FDA or EPA employment and Monsanto employment – for people like Michael Taylor and others – seemed to help Monsanto secure glyphosate approval.  The upcoming Roundup trials are likely to unveil some of those past connections, along with the cozy relationships between Monsanto and the EPA made clear by Monsanto emails with EPA officials like Jess Rowland.

Time will tell if the available science is strong enough to back the link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and whether or not Monsanto’s secret moves to destroy its detractors and its manipulative and/or monetary relationships with U.S. regulators and researchers will be enough to sway jurors.

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