Bayer’s Home Country plans Glyphosate Ban

(Oct. 22, 2019) Bayer – which bought Monsanto last year for $66 billion – now faces a ban in its home country on Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup. The government of Germany announced last month that it will begin to phase out allowed uses of glyphosate, the only listed active ingredient in Roundup.

Related: Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit | Attorney

Under Germany’s new plan, all glyphosate use will be banned by the end of 2023. That is when the product’s European license expires. Europe accounts for just ten percent of Roundup sales, so the ban is not likely to significantly affect Bayer’s stock market prices, which have suffered significantly since three outsized verdicts were delivered in the last year against Monsanto. Three juries have unanimously ruled that Roundup has a propensity to cause those exposed to it non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other types of leukemia. The German ban nevertheless represents at least a significant symbolic blow against Bayer. In addition to three huge losses in three Roundup trials so far, Bayer faces more than 18,400 Roundup lawsuits in the U.S. alone.

Related: Austria, Germany’s neighbor, has completely banned Roundup.

Bayer’s Response and some of its Defenders

In defense of glyphosate, the head of Bayer Crop Sciences, Liam Condon, issued this press statement: “We disagree with the German government’s decision to ban glyphosate by the end of 2023. The ruling ignores decades of scientific judgment from independent regulatory agencies around the world that glyphosate is safe when used properly.”

That response stays directly on point with Monsanto lawyers’ defense of Roundup and glyphosate in all three trials which have resulted not only in straight-up losses, but in large punitive damages against the company.

As with the EPA in the U.S., Bayer Crop Sciences has an ally in VCI, the European chemical association, which functions in somewhat similar fashion to the U.S. EPA. The organization’s managing director, Utz Tillmann, called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government’s decision “premature,” because it came before a ruling by the European Union. The EU does not allow its members to make unilateral decisions; hence the British people’s decision to vote in favor of Brexit, a plan to leave the EU and re-establish their country’s sovereign independence. Ms. Tillman says that Germany’s decision to ban glyphosate represents “a massive loss of certainty for planning. She added that “Business must be able to count on reliable conditions.”

A disinterested observer might fairly ask – and it is difficult to be disinterested when glyphosate has been found virtually everywhere – is “planning” more important than the health of people exposed to glyphosate? Is “business” more important than people’s health?

Most pointedly, Germany’s proposed ban on glyphosate is yet one more sign of increasing opposition to the toxic chemical among Europeans. The E.U. may respond by deciding not to renew its license when the body votes on the issue in three more years. Austria’s total ban and Germany’s phase-out of glyphosate join a growing chorus against the chemical. Several local city governments have taken action to stop the use of glyphosate. (In the U.S., New York City and other municipalities are considering glyphosate bans.) In Berlin at a press conference, Germany’s Minister of the Environment, Svenja Schulze, said, “I don’t expect that there will be a majority anywhere in the E.U. for glyphosate anywhere in the E.U.”

Germany’s plan, like New York City’s proposed ban, would begin by prohibiting the use of glyphosate in public parks and gardens, and impose restrictions on agricultural use.

The stock market notes that Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto may prove to be the worst business decision in recent history. Bayer today is worth much less than the price it paid for Monsanto. Bayer shares have fallen in value by 30 percent since the takeover just over a year ago. Rumors last month said Bayer was considering an $8 billion settlement, but those rumors proved false. Some market analysts have calculated Bayer’s glyphosate liability to be as high as $27.7 billion, an enormous sum considering that Bayer paid $66 billion for Monsanto last year.

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Monsanto hides behind Bayer Name

(Oct. 15, 2019) Most people have woken up to the fact that Monsanto’s claim to want to feed the world is balderdash. In fact, Monsanto has become so hated in the world that its new owner, Bayer, has moved to completely phase out the mention of its name. Bayer thinks it can hide the Monsanto name under its own. But the immediate problem with that transparent PR play is that Bayer’s history is at least as sordid as Monsanto’s. The move would be laughable if it weren’t so offensive. Bayer itself is nothing if not a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

Related: Bayer’s Monsanto faces some 18,000 Roundup lawsuits.

To counter terrible truths, Monsanto has, for decades, attacked critics of its poison practices while hoodwinking customers about the safety of its products.

  • Josephine Irvine-Groves: “Researchers who have studied these problems [of Monsanto’s poison practices] have had their grants removed, their families threatened, their reputations ruined, and worse….see Dr. Pusztai et al.” (The Seeds of Deception proves this statement. See one short review.)
  • Sabrina Walkosz: “Farmers are falling ill and dying here in central Illinois… Neurodegenerative diseases and cancers are what I see as a hospice nurse. So tragic for them and their families, as they were told all along these chemicals were safe to use!”
  • Carey Gilliam: “I’m a journalist: Monsanto built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation.”

Monsanto Makeover underway

To counter these terrible truths, Monsanto needs a complete makeover and knows it. Revising its identity includes Bayer’s attempt to bury the Monsanto name to help conceal the latter’s horrible history. Monsanto has used well-paid shills in the past in an attempt to alter its image, but the facts on the ground make that task difficult, despite Monsanto’s deep pockets controlling media coverage of glyphosate as well as the mis-named U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Monsanto’s Poison Legacy

Monsanto has produced death and destruction worldwide for decades. Monsanto created cancer-causing bovine growth hormone (rBGH); the birth defect defoliant Agent Orange; cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and, of course, its biggest cash cow: cancer-causing Roundup. Monsanto-style farming practices, the awful monoculture Monsanto promotes, have led to nutrient-starved fields, superweeds, water shortages, millions more gallons of herbicide and pesticide poisons, and hundreds of thousands of farmer suicides.

Monsanto Milk: Got Cancer?

The very name of Monsanto conjures nightmares that have become reality for much of the world. The company has long “worked” to poison the world and all its living things, for a handsome profit. Monsanto products have killed pollinator bees, and killed or sickened farmers, landscapers, and homeowners – according to thousands of lawsuit petitions – who have unwittingly poisoned themselves with “herbicides” like Roundup (safe enough to drink, Monsanto has said).

Any PR agency in the world charged with a Monsanto makeover would first tell the company it would be wise to disappear its name and hope people will forget what it stands for, forget what it has done to the earth, to wildlife, to people. But how can a company with a terrible track record just change its name and disappear? How can it hide its litany of horrors?

Bayer steeped in Death and Destruction

Enter Bayer, a company with a history so steeped in death and destruction that even Monsanto’s crimes against nature pale in comparison. Bayer acquired Monsanto last year in a chemical company marriage made in hell. These are companies that speak the same poison language.

Like Monsanto, the name Bayer is also synonymous with death and destruction on a horrific scale. In WWI, Bayer’s predecessor IG Farben, helped develop chlorine (or Mustard) gas that killed or maimed thousands of Americans and our allies. The company pushed aggressively for the use of toxic nerve agents on the front. More gas meant more profits.

Poison Gas Profits

And just as Monsanto has merged with Bayer now, Bayer merged with the war criminal IG Farben during WWI. By WWII, that toxic conglomerate made the Zyklon B gas used to kill millions of people, including Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, political prisoners, and others whom Hitler’s minions considered “undesirables.”

Related: GM Watch: Bayer – A History

From GMWatch.org:

The extent of IG Farben and Bayer’s crimes have been well documented. GMWatch.org helps bring the pain back to these criminal purveyors of unpardonable evil. IG Farben executives were brought to the docks at Nuremberg to face trial for their war crimes:

“[C]ompanies like Bayer (were) owned, and directed at the highest level, by the very same people as IG Farben. Those who had helped Hitler to power and provided the technical know-how for his wars of aggression and the Holocaust, were back in control of the industry.

The Bayer executive Fritz ter Meer typifies the bounce back. An executive of IG for many years, the most senior scientist on its supervisory board and the chairman of its technical committee, he had become a Nazi Party member in 1937 and was the executive responsible for the construction of the IG Farben factory in Auschwitz, in which tens of thousands of slave labourers met their deaths. (The) Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal found him guilty of plunder, slavery and mass murder. (He) was already out of prison by 1952. By 1956 he had become the chairman of the supervisory board of Bayer, a post he held until 1964. Even today Bayer continues to honour this convicted mass murderer. (For) decades Bayer refused to pay compensation to its surviving slave labourers. Only after international protests did it eventually agree to pay damages – more than 50 years after the end of the war.”

If you think Bayer has changed today, read Tainted Bayer Blood Killed Thousands

Monsanto marries Bayer

Today, Bayer makes neonicotinoids which have been implicated by world-renowned scientists in the mass die-offs of our pollinator bees. The total disappearance of those bees may well lead to mass die-offs of millions of us. Einstein said the human race would not last four years if all our pollinators die. With Bayer’s, Monsanto’s and other chemical companies’ “expert help,” more than half the bees are already dead, while food grows more scarce and the price of healthy organic food rises in proportion to the scarcity of non-poisoned foods. More and more people have come to realize that eating organic food sans pesticide may be the only way to remain reasonably healthy in a world poisoned by Bayer and Monsanto. Thankfully, more and more people are figuring out the whole dirty game.

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Final Monsanto Roundup Trial of 2019 delayed

(October 8, 2019) – Monsanto has not won a single Roundup trial, but it has succeeded in delaying the final trial that was scheduled for 2019. A St. Louis judge ruled this week that the final Monsanto Roundup trial of 2019 will be indefinitely delayed.  It was to have been the last trial in 2019 against Monsanto over the alleged cancer-causing properties of its weed killer Roundup. The trial had been scheduled to start next week.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Michael Mullen announced Oct. 4 that the Oct. 15 Roundup trial brought by plaintiff Walter Winston would be delayed. Like thousands of other plaintiffs in federal and California multidistrict litigation, Mr. Winston claims Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other serious injuries. Further details of Mr.Winston’s claims were not at hand.

The court said: “The parties … have requested that the court take the trial … off calendar.” The court then set a status conference for February 2020.

The postponement means the next Roundup trial will likely take place in January 2020 in California’s Lake County, in a case brought by a minor with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Plaintiffs 3-0 in Roundup Trials

The Roundup litigation has, so far, seen three enormous verdicts in three trials. Judges reduced the amounts awarded by each of three juries ( some would say “arbitrarily reduced” them) , citing various reasons, but the verdicts have nonetheless stood.  In July 2019, a California state judge cut a couple’s earlier $2 billion jury verdict award to $86.7 million. In that same month, a California federal judge reduced an $80 million verdict to $25 million in the second Roundup lawsuit to go to trial. And then in the first trial over Roundup’s links to cancer, a San Francisco jury’s $289 million verdict from August 2018 was reduced by a judge to $78 million.

Bayer, which purchased Monsanto last summer shortly before the first huge verdict hit the company, said it continues to focus on appeals in the three cases Monsanto lost. Those legal efforts include trying to hide behind the fig leaf of the EPA’s duplicitous approval of glyphosate. The approval was duplicitous because some agency scientists rejected approval of the weed killer, citing the same cancer concerns Monsanto now faces in more than 13,000 Roundup lawsuits. Years later, the EPA inexplicably changed course, with at least two of the original EPA scientist objectors refusing to sign off on Roundup.

Related: One EPA Scientist calls out another for Monsanto support

Monsanto Settlement a Fiction?

While Monsanto lawyers work behind the scenes to overturn jury verdicts with dubious legal arguments about captured regulatory agencies like the EPA, attorney Kenneth Feinberg  — who brokered settlements for victims in GM recall litigation and for victims of the heinous Sept. 1, 2001 Black Op —  is reportedly working to broker a settlement. However, in early August 2019, Mr. Feinberg dismissed as “pure fiction” media reports that Bayer was offering billions to end the claims.

Mr. Feinberg was hired in May 2019 to begin settlement talks, but said then that mediation was still in its early stages.

Retailers hit with Roundup Lawsuits

Two retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, have also been hit with failure-to-warn class claims over glyphosate, one of the ingredients in the Roundup’s poison cocktail.

IARC: Glyphosate probably Carcinogenic

The Roundup litigation was jump started in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the U.N.’s World Health Organization, classified glyphosate  as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. IARC said non-Hodgkin lymphoma was the type of cancer most closely linked with glyphosate.

Final Monanto Roundup Trial of 2019 delayed

The case is Winston et al. v. Monsanto Co., case number 1822-CC00515, in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis.

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Emails reveal Monsanto Manipulation, Intimidation of Cancer Researchers

(Sept. 19, 2019) Emails uncovered in Monsanto Roundup lawsuits reveal Monsanto manipulation and intimidation of cancer researchers. Monsanto worked hard behind the scenes to push “the glyphosate safety question” before congress and regulatory agencies like the EPA.  Focusing on glyphosate is a red herring. Making people focus solely on glyphosate alone hides the real story of the cancerous propensities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. Monsanto wants to make the world believe that glyphosate safety, rather than the entire Roundup cocktail and other glyphosate-based poisons, is the most important question. Encouraging uneducated or disinterested others to focus solely on glyphosate is, and has always been, Monsanto’s best chance to defend itself in the growing Roundup litigation.

Update: More than 18,000 Roundup lawsuits that have been filed against the company now owned by Bayer AG.

Journalist Lee Fang reported the story for The Intercept August 23 2019. Mr. Fang revealed how Monsanto worked with ranking Republican legislators like Frank Lucas of Oklahoma to attack cancer researchers who had found Roundup to be a probable human carcinogen. That finding in March 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) alerted the world to the dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup.  They were dangers which Monsanto had shrewdly downplayed from the start in order to sell more Roundup to people unaware of the dangers they faced.

Luckily, more and more people are figuring out Monsanto’s whole game. Three huge jury verdicts against Monsanto so far have all found in favor of the plaintiffs. All claimed Monsanto failed to warn them that Roundup was carcinogenic and that users need to cover their skin and avoid breathing the poison while applying it. Monsanto itself instructed its own employees to cover up when spraying, mixing, or handling Roundup; at the same time, Monsanto failed to provide the same cautionary instructions for its customers. For Monsanto, the legend was, and remains, “Buyer beware.”

Glyphosate Safety Question gives Monsanto Game Away

One email string which shows Monsanto plotting to solicit responses from regulators and from Monsanto friends among Republican representatives of congress reveals a Monsanto VP of government affairs giving the whole Monsanto game away.

Monsanto VP Michael Dykes updated the Monsanto team later in 2015 after the IARC had determined glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen. Mr.Dykes’ plan to attack the IARC included the possible placement of advertisements — in the form of letters from ostensibly third-party groups — in Capitol Hill newspapers. Monsanto also prepared to use a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing as a venue to get the EPA to reaffirm its support for glyphosate.

Mr. Dykes wrote: “We will make sure Committee members ask EPA the glyphosate safety question.”

Nobody knew the importance of floating the “glyphosate safety question” better than Michael Dykes. This subterfuge of a safety question is precisely where the real toxic fraud of Roundup lies. Examining this issue closely shows just how Monsanto has hoodwinked ostensibly disinterested regulators and, in turn, most of the public.

The so-called “glyphosate safety question” is a red herring meant to derail any adequate or meaningful testing from the start. Focusing solely on glyphosate is an enormous, absurd loophole which EPA testing protocol encourages and allows. It is a loophole which includes fluoride and many other toxic chemicals which interact with other chemicals to produce something several hundred or even a thousand times more toxic than any chemical measured alone, in a vacuum.

Glyphosate in a Vacuum?

No chemical lives in a vacuum, but Monsanto and the EPA would have us believe that glyphosate does. They would have us believe that isolating a single chemical like glyphosate is enough to render a safety profile that we can trust with our lives. The obvious retort is that glyphosate is virtually NEVER applied alone, in a vacuum, without being mixed with surfactants, at least one of which is banned in Europe while it continues to be used in the U.S.

Mr. Dykes wanted the “glyphosate question” asked because when a regulator or anybody else looks at glyphosate alone as a possible carcinogen, one finds limited evidence to sound it out as toxic. Which is exactly why Monsanto has done most of its “research” into glyphosate safety by looking at glyphosate alone, and then sharing that “research” with the U.S. EPA, as well as with European and other regulators. This point cannot be overstressed. It is virtually meaningless to measure the toxicity of glyphosate alone, rather than to measure the toxicity of the entire Roundup cocktail and other glyphosate-based-herbicides.*

* It’s also worth noting that “herbicide” is a euphemism. Even the Monsanto-captured EPA classifies an herbicide as a pesticide. The naming of things matters, as Monsanto executives and anybody else with a working pulse well knows, or should know.

The Monsanto Papers

When, in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified glyphosate, an active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, as a “probable carcinogen,” the IARC looked only at studies done independently of Monsanto. The IARC also looked only at studies published in peer-reviewed literature. The IARC’s declaration that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen set off a global debate about the world’s most popular weedkiller. It also unleashed a treasure trove of legal discovery which brought us, among many bombshells, “The Monsanto Papers. ”

We can now all see through a glass darkly just how dirty Monsanto is. We can now see just how low it will go to destroy honest scientists, doctors, and journalists, whose only crime has been to study Monsanto’s poison products and warn the rest of the world about them.

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Monsanto-paid Scientists lied about Financial Ties

(Sept. 6, 2019) Monsanto-paid scientists who published papers supporting Monsanto and attacking the IARC lied about their financial ties to the company. Court documents show that several of the dishonest scientists were among 16 people who signed their names to several published papers which supported Monsanto and attacked the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The occasion for the attack was the IARC’s declaring Monsanto’s glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March 2015.

Editor refuses to retract papers

The ethics-challenged editor who green-lighted the fraudulent papers (Roger McClellan) has refused to retract them. The editor claims that, were his publication to come clean and retract the papers published under the false pretense of being free of Monsanto involvement or influence, he might hurt reputations and negatively affect Monsanto’s interests in the Roundup litigation.

Secret Monsanto Minions

The secret Monsanto minions used their names and reputations in an effort to discredit the IARC after it announced in March 2015 that glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup were probably carcinogenic to people. Monsanto commissioned the so-called “scientists” specifically for the purpose of trying to make the IARC look self-serving and untrustworthy. The fallout has turned the tables and shown the truth:  Monsanto is a malignancy which is completely self-serving and untrustworthy.

Monsanto’s whole black operation to deceive the public came to light following legal discovery in one of the Roundup cancer lawsuits filed against Monsanto, which is now owned by the German chemical giant Bayer AG.

Monsanto used the power of its deep pockets to secretly influence a set of papers published in the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.  The secret exercise of industry power was so unethical that the publisher investigated it. Those findings determined that least three of the papers should be retracted. The U.S. Right to Know web site reports that the entire Monsanto subterfuge is in evidence, according to a series of internal journal communications. The episode also implicates the editor, Roger McClellan, who still refuses to retract the papers, which declared there were no cancer concerns with Monsanto herbicides like Roundup. Emails revealed through FOIA requests show that the editor claimed a retraction could have impacted last summer’s first Roundup trial – which despite the lies resulted in a $289 million verdict – and harmed the authors’ reputations.

Lawyers representing several thousand people suing Monsanto over Roundup found the journal communications through discovery. Three trials have seen all three juries render huge punitive damages against Monsanto. All the juries sided with the plaintiffs who argued that Roundup was carcinogenic, and that Monsanto knew it was and covered up the damning evidence.

The emails show a major scientific publishing house wrestling for its soul as the editor and other employees fight over whether they should come clean on the Monsanto deception. The editor and others discuss how they should confront the problem of rank dishonesty in the published papers.

The emails were obtained as part of a deposition of Roger McClellan, the longtime editor in chief of the peer-reviewed journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology (CRT.)

Monsanto-paid Scientists lied about Financial Ties

US Right to Knows explains that CRT published the papers in question in September 2016 as an “Independent Review” of the carcinogenic potential of the weed-killing agent glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and other brands. The five papers published as part of the review directly contradicted the findings of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. In 2015, the IARC found glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen. The 16 authors of the papers concluded that the weight of evidence showed the weed killer was unlikely to pose any carcinogenic risk to people.

The authors stated in the publication that their conclusions were free of Monsanto’s intervention. Emphatic language trumpeted their lie. The paper’s legend included this whopper: “Neither any Monsanto company employees nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel’s manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.”

A Blatant Lie – $27,400 for starters

In the fall of 2017, that statement was proven to be a blatant lie. Internal Monsanto records showed extensive involvement by Monsanto scientists in the drafting and editing of the papers. Records also showed that Monsanto helped choose the authors. Internal records also showed direct payments to at least two of the so-called “independent” authors. Monsanto had a contract with author Larry Kier, for just one example, paying him $27,400 for his work on the papers.

In response to those revelations and questions from media outlets, CRT publisher  Taylor & Francis Group  launched an investigation in the fall of 2017. The newly released communications reveal that after months questioning the papers’ authors, a team of legal and ethics experts put together by Taylor & Francis concluded the authors had hidden Monsanto’s direct involvement in the papers, and had done so knowingly. The emails show some of the authors did not even fully disclose Monsanto involvement in initial questioning by Taylor & Francis during the investigation.

US Right to Know reports that the papers published under the fraudulent cover of “independent” scientists were never retracted. In September of 2018 they were only “updated” to carry an “Expression of Concern” and updates to the acknowledgements and declaration of interests. But despite Monsanto’s involvement, the papers are still titled with the word “independent,”  which we now know is blatant fraud.

The “update” might have added that the papers’ publication was “independent” of the truth of the matter, another clear example of how Monsanto money can make wrong right, black white, lies truth.

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EPA vs. IARC fight proves EPA captured

(Sept. 4, 2019) Roundup lawsuits have uncovered internal Monsanto emails which have outed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an industry-captured entity. The EPA vs. IARC fight proves the EPA is captured by industry. A close look at the controversy shows without a doubt that Monsanto and the biotech industry have captured the agency charged with regulating pesticides like Roundup and other poisons.

Internal Monsanto emails which plaintiffs demanded in Roundup lawsuit discovery have shown the world just how Monsanto has cultivated and exploited a cozy relationship with U.S. pesticide regulators at the EPA. The emails have shown how one scientist on the EPA payroll worked secretly with Monsanto to quash a pesticide review of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling poison, Roundup.

Related: Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit Attorney

In some of the three Roundup trials, all of which Monsanto has lost, Monsanto lawyers have been able to keep some evidence of the cozy EPA-Monsanto relationship out of the eyes of the jury. But Monsanto lawyers have not always been able to hide all the relevant relationship evidence through sly procedural moves. The three huge jury verdicts rendered against Monsanto for Roundup since last summer are, at least in part, a result of some juries being shown evidence which proves that the U.S. EPA has not been an objective arbiter of facts where Monsanto is concerned. In point of fact, the EPA has been shown – through the publication of irrefutable evidence in The Monsanto Papers – to be working more as a partner with the biochemical industry, rather than as a pesticide (Read: poison) watchdog for U.S. citizens.

Dr. Charles Benbrook explains

Dr. Charles Benbrookwho testified for the plaintiff in the first Monsanto Roundup trial last summer – explains in a Jan. 2019 paper just how the IARC and the EPA arrived at two diametrically opposed views regarding the cancer-causing propensities of glyphosate and Roundup.

Note: Dr. Benbrook’s web site says he has a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin, an undergraduate degree from Harvard. He is a visiting scholar in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and a visiting professor at the University of Newcastle in the U.K.

No Evidence vs. Strong Evidence?

Dr. Benbrook explains that the EPA considers glyphosate as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” By contrast, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).” EPA claims that no convincing evidence shows that “glyphosate induces mutations in vivo via the oral route.” IARC concludes that “strong evidence” shows exposure to glyphosate is genotoxic through at least two mechanisms known to be associated with human carcinogens — DNA damage and oxidative stress.

Dr. Benbrook asks, “Why and how did EPA and IARC reach such different conclusions?”

EPA Method and Results

The EPA cited 52 genotoxicity assays done by “registrants” (Monsanto and its biochem industry friends) in its 2016 evaluation of technical glyphosate. (“Technical” meaning only that glyphosate alone was studied, not one of the relevant formulations such as “Roundup”  in which it is always mixed.) The EPA also cited 52 assays that had appeared in the public literature.  Dr. Benbrook says, “Of these, one regulatory assay (2%) and 35 published assays (67%) reported positive evidence of a genotoxic response. In the case of formulated, glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs – or glyphosate mixed into a common pesticide), 43 regulatory assays were cited by EPA, plus 65 assays published in peer-reviewed journals. Of these, none of the regulatory, and 49 published assays (75%) reported evidence of a genotoxic response following exposure to a GBH.

IARC Method and Results

IARC, by contrast, considered a total of 118 genotoxicity assays in six core tables on glyphosate technical (again, alone), GBHs, and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), glyphosate’s primary metabolite. EPA’s analysis encompassed 51 of these 118 assays (43%). In addition, IARC analyzed another 81 assays exploring other possible genotoxic mechanisms (mostly related to sex hormones and oxidative stress), of which 62 (77%) reported positive results. IARC placed considerable weight on three positive GBH studies in exposed human populations, whereas EPA placed little or no weight on them.

Three Primary Conclusions

Dr. Benbrook says that EPA and IARC reached diametrically opposed conclusions on glyphosate genotoxicity for three main reasons:

(1) in the core tables compiled by EPA and IARC, the EPA relied mostly on registrant-commissioned, unpublished regulatory studies, 99% of which were negative, while IARC relied mostly on peer-reviewed studies (emphasis added) of which 70% were positive (83 of 118);

(2) EPA’s evaluation was largely based on data from studies on technical glyphosate, whereas IARC’s review placed heavy weight on the results of formulated GBH and AMPA assay (emphasis added). This means EPA studied glyphosate alone, without the surfactants (some of which have been banned in Europe) and other ingredients, which virtually all experts agree make any formulation much more toxic, perhaps as much as 1,000x more toxic.

(3) EPA’s evaluation was focused on typical, general population dietary exposures assuming legal, food-crop uses, and did not take into account, nor address generally higher occupational exposures and risks. IARC’s assessment encompassed data from typical dietary, occupational, and elevated exposure scenarios. More research is needed on real-world exposures to the chemicals within formulated GBHs and the biological fate and consequences of such exposures.

EPA vs. IARC fight proves EPA captured

In a word, the U.S. EPA leaned heavily on Monsanto-funded studies and others sponsored by the biochemical industry to make its determination. And most of those studies were perverted or truncated by their mostly useless focus on glyphosate alone. Glyphosate is virtually never applied alone, by itself, in a vacuum, without being mixed with dangerous surfactants and other substances hidden by laws which protect a corporation’s “proprietary” interests.

By contrast, the IARC relied primarily on published, non-industry funded studies. The IARC also gave studies more weight if they focused on the entire chemical cocktail concoction of products like Roundup (or some other Glyphosate-Based-Herbicide), rather than on glyphosate alone. That approach just makes sense, period. Why, like Monsanto did, test a product that is virtually never used alone? That makes no sense.

The relevant facts, testing the GBHs used in real-world situations, rather than testing isolated glyphosate (technical) as Monsanto and its minions preferred to do, make the EPA’s rubber-stamping of glyphosate not only borderline criminal – given the now ubiquitous poisoning of so much of the living earth by glyphosate – but also completely irrelevant.

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Republicans help Monsanto

Republicans have, for several years, waged a war against the International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC is the World Health Organization’s cancer research division which declared glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup) a probable carcinogen in 2015. Now, according to freshly-released documents in a report by Lee Fang for The Intercept, Republicans’ anti-IARC campaign was prompted, pushed, and aided and abetted by Monsanto’s attorneys and lobbyists.

Related: Monsanto Manipulation Machine Bayered

Lee Fang reports that documents ranging from e-mails to deposition transcripts have been made public by the law firm that represents Dewayne Johnson. He is the cancer patient and former groundskeeper who won the first Roundup lawsuit trial last August in California. A jury awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million (later reduced to $78 million).

Editor’s Note: Some democrats have also helped Monsanto. Hillary Clinton has been called the queen of Monsanto, and Barack Obama firmly backed the biotech bully from Missouri.

Republicans attack IARC, NIH for Monsanto

Mr. Fang reports that company e-mails, documents and deposition transcripts show  “Monsanto lawyers and lobbyists guided lawmakers, coordinating efforts to question the IARC’s credibility and slash U.S. support for the international body.”

In June 2015, Monsanto’s vice president of government affairs – Michael Dykes – outlined Monsanto’s plans to discredit the IARC. Mr. Dykes emailed that he had sent teams of lobbyists to talk to “key staff” at the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the State Department, and members of Congress. Monsanto executed the plan three months after the IARC had first declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, in March 2015. At the same time, Mr. Dykes also updated his Monsanto colleagues with additional ways the company could discredit the IARC. That plan included Monsanto interests taking control of a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing where senators would ask the EPA about glyphosate’s safety.

“We will make sure Committee members ask EPA the glyphosate safety question,” wrote Dykes, who was well aware the EPA sat firmly in Monsanto’s pocket. (See: EPA Monsanto ties cancerous)

Monsanto ghostwrites for a Republican Rep.

According to Mr. Fang,  FTI Government Affairs was one of the consulting firms that has helped Monsanto discredit the IARC. FTI ghost-wrote a letter in 2016 that was attributed to Republican Rep. Rob Aderholt of Alabama.  The letter written in Mr. Aderholt’s name insisted glyphosate “does not cause cancer. ” It charged that the IARC was promoting “bunk science.”  Mr. Aderholt’s name was on that letter, but it was written by FTI lobbyists.

That misrepresented letter, says Mr. Fang, was followed by other letters from Republican Congress members demanding an investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for IARC. Republicans who wrote those letters – or perhaps only signed their names as Mr. Aderholt did – included Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who chaired the House Oversight Committee), South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (who succeeded Chaffetz as House Oversight chair), and Texas Rep. Lamar Smith (who chaired the House Science Committee). All of them echoed Monsanto’s on-point inquiries into IARC funding and the IARC’s designation of glyphosate as a carcinogen.

Kill the Messenger

In 2018, according to Mr. Fang’s report, Rep. Smith sent letters to cancer researchers in Norway demanding that they “correct the flaws in IARC.” Republicans further aided Monsanto when the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee cut $2 million in IARC funding.

Monsanto-Supreme Court Connection

Republican support for Monsanto extends all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, to former Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas.  High court justices are supposed to recuse themselves when even the suggestion of a  conflict of interest is evident. “Justice” Thomas has twice refused to recuse himself when Monsanto cases have come before the nation’s highest court. He has also voted along Republican or corporate-controlled party lines in virtually every case he has seen in all of his 28 years on the bench.

Monsanto-EPA Connections

Monsanto has also been caught in bed with the U.S. EPA in the Roundup Lawsuit litigation. The Monsanto Papers have shown just how friendly the relationship has been between regulator and  regulated.  It is an especially important relationship on which to shine the light of truth, because Monsanto lawyers point again and again to the U.S. EPA’s refusal to look at the science behind Roundup and glyphosate – all the considerable science which has not been paid for by Monsanto. Rather than look at independent studies as the IARC did to determine glyphosate’s carcinogenicity, EPA continues to look primarily at studies bought and paid for by Monsanto.  The agency initially recognized glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential back in the 1970s when Roundup was first introduced.  The EPA then blew the whistle on the toxic poison, but then inexplicably altered its position years later and allowed it on the market.

Republicans help Monsanto

The EPA-Monsanto Collusion story should come out more fully in the next Roundup lawsuit trial, which is scheduled to begin this fall in Monsanto’s home town of St. Louis. The monster from the midway has lost all three of the Roundup trials held thus far, as more and more of the world is waking up to the horrendous damage Monsanto has done to our food and environment.

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Bayer CEO may drive Monsanto Roundup Settlement

(August 6, 2018) Bayer’s embattled CEO may drive a Monsanto Roundup settlement. Bayer shares had fallen dramatically after three straight juries agreed that Roundup causes cancer. But those shares jumped last month after the company CEO revealed plans aimed at resolving lawsuits linked to glyphosate, reported InsuranceJournal.com. Bayer revealed that it had hired an outside lawyer to advise its supervisory board about the merits of a potential settlement. The German drug and chemical giant also set up a special committee to help resolve its Monsanto glyphosate litigation.

Bayer’s share price rose with the potential settlement news. InsuranceJournal.com further reported that a fund manager at Union Investment, one of Bayer‘s largest German shareholders, said the higher share price was likely buffeted by some stockholders anticipating an earlier settlement.

“Investors want more certainty as quickly as possible,” said Mark Manns. “But it is for management to weigh up a quick settlement against how many billions you could save by holding out [for a later settlement].” Mr. Manns added that Bayer‘s negotiation position for now was “highly unfavorable.”

13,400 Roundup (Glyphosate) Lawsuits

Bayer acquired Monsanto for $63 billion just before the first verdict against Roundup hit the company – a $289 million judgement for a California groundskeeper in August 2018. Bayer now faces more than 13,400 plaintiffs who allege Monsanto’s glyphosate weed killer caused their cancer. The corporate giant still contests that claim, despite the company’s 0-3 record in defending its Roundup poison, which is used to kill weeds and anything else not genetically modified to withstand its toxic assault, including indispensable flora in the human gut. The company also lost an $80 million verdict and a $2 billion verdict.

Another major German shareholder, Deka Investment, said that Bayer’s hiring more legal expertise was “the right step,” as the move also acknowledged shareholder criticism.

Elliott Associates, which holds  Bayer shares worth 1.1 billion euros ($1.25 billion), said that Bayer’s recent moves help resolve uncertainty linked to glyphosate and help lead to settlements with limited financial costs.

Major shareholders have criticized Bayer for its handling of the Monsanto glyphosate issue; they gave Bayer’s top management a vote of disapproval at its April 2019 annual general meeting.

One of the company’s top shareholders, Janus Henderson, welcomed the measures taken by Bayer as “sensible.” He said they may lead to an earlier-than-expected settlement.

Mr. Henderson said he expects Bayer will lose its next glyphosate trial, which is scheduled for this month in Monsanto’s old hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

Like Bayer, Henderson is banking on the appeal processes starting later in the year  He said that process “represents [Bayer’s] best chance to change momentum in sentiment.”

Bayer CEO may drive Monsanto Roundup Settlement

The best financial scenario for Bayer at present seems to be an affordable settlement deal which allows farmers continued use of Roundup products.  But nothing is assured. The best we can hope for is that the justice system moves quickly.  People and their families injured by Roundup deserve compensation for their losses. Monsanto failed to warn them of glyphosate’s terrible toll. The company must now compensate those whom they failed to treat as sentient human beings put in harm’s way by Roundup and glyphosate.

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Costco quits selling Roundup

(July 22, 2019) Costco announced this summer that it will quit selling Roundup.  A Costco spokesperson announced May 29 that the company is not planning to sell Monsanto’s best-selling concoction this season. Some 12,000 Roundup lawsuits now plague the beleaguered chemical company.

Costco’s decision came shortly after Monsanto lost its third straight trial tying Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A Costco spokesperson announced: “Costco is constantly reviewing its (product) lineup, and is not planning to sell RoundUp this season.”

The announcement came closely on the heels of Monsanto’s latest trial loss over Roundup, a $2.055 million verdict for a couple who both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following years of Roundup exposure. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple in their seventies, have both been diagnosed with lymphoma. Alva suffers from a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has moved into his bones and spine. Alberta has brain cancer linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The decision not to carry RoundUp is not one that most giant box stores have followed. Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Kroger and others continue to sell Monsanto’s toxic pesticide despite the many Roundup lawsuits which followed cancer warnings issued by the World Health Organization. In 2015, the WHO declared that glyphosate – Roundup’s only listed active ingredient, despite much evidence that shows Roundup’s surfactants greatly increase the toxicity of the entire Roundup cocktail – is a “probable carcinogen. ” The WHO arrived at its conclusion after reviewing approximately 1000 independent studies, none of which were sponsored by Monsanto.

Retailers that sold people Roundup have not been named so far in the lawsuits against Monsanto, nor has the U.S. EPA, which regulates (if one can call it that) Roundup and glyphosate for consumer, commercial or agricultural use. So far, most Roundup lawsuit petitions have not named any of these peripheral parties in the more than 12,000 new lawsuits that have been filed to date against Bayer AG, which now owns Monsanto.

Curiously, the U.S. EPA first banned glyphosate more than 30 years ago, then inexplicably reversed its decision. Roundup remains on most shelves today despite the growing body of scientific evidence linking Roundup and lymphoma, along with Monsanto’s three huge legal losses over the product. The company is now 0-3 in Roundup cancer trials.

Meanwhile, Monsanto and Bayer AG continue to repeat their claim that “four decades of extensive science” prove Roundup is safe. Recent evidence suggests, however, that at least some of that “science” may have been forged. Unsealed documents released as part of another court case suggest Monsanto may have faked its own safety studies to produce its own corrupt science.

According to US Right to Know,the third Roundup-cancer case to go to trial  revealed several damning facts about Monsanto.  They include:

  • Monsanto spent millions of dollars to develop covert PR campaigns. The money financed ghostwritten studies and stories aimed at discrediting independent scientists whose work found Monsanto’s poison products were not as safe as Monsanto advertised them to be.
  • When the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry sought to evaluate glyphosate toxicity in 2015, Monsanto engaged the assistance of EPA officials to delay that review.
  • Monsanto enjoyed a close relationship with certain industry-compromised EPA officials who have repeatedly backed Monsanto assertions about the safety of its glyphosate products.
  • Monsanto’s internal worker safety recommendations called for wearing a full range of protective gear when applying glyphosate herbicides; but Monsanto failed to warn the public to do the same.
  • As part of the third trial, evidence showed Monsanto hired a corporate intelligence company “to take the temperature on current regulatory attitudes for glyphosate.” That company’s report indicated that a domestic policy advisor at the White House said: “We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the EU. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.”

Monsanto\EPA Collusion

Other shocking news also came out of the third trial against Monsanto: emails were released showing EPA officials may have colluded with Monsanto to help slow the release of the dangers of the pesticide from the public. EPA also fed Monsanto consistent updates.

So why does the EPA continue to allow the sale of Roundup?  Why do many retailers continuing to sell it, given glyphosate’s research-based link to genetic damageAlzheimer’s disease, and a wide range of other health issues that include ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease, autism, birth defects, celiac disease, colitis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s Disease?

Glyphosate Unsafe at any Dose

Another study released by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, cites research that shows as little as 1 part per trillion of glyphosate can stimulate breast cancer and disrupt the body’s delicate hormonal system.

The Global Glyphosate Study found that the so-called “safe” amounts set by the EPA aren’t actually safe at all and are instead linked to microbiome imbalances and DNA damage. A microbiome is the sum of all the microbes in the body. It differs from person to person, creating a sort of microscopic “fingerprint.” While our understanding of microbiomes is still new and incomplete, an imbalanced microbiome may be a risk factor for many possible diseases.

Fourth Roundup Trial

The fourth Roundup cancer trial is slated for this fall in St. Louis, Monsanto’s hometown.

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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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