(March 20, 2019) Like the underdog Muhammad Ali shocking the giant George Foreman in 1974, plaintiff Edwin Hardeman knocked biotech monster Monsanto to the canvas yesterday. In a unanimous decision in a California court room, a jury of six declared that Monsanto’s Roundup caused Mr. Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The trial will now move to a phase two, a “damages” phase, which will somewhat untie Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys’ hands. In this first phase which the plaintiff won yesterday with the unanimous decision, the plaintiff’s attorneys were allowed only to present evidence proving Roundup can cause cancer, and that it likely caused Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.
Attorneys not allowed to share evidence
Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys were not allowed to show any of Monsanto’s ongoing efforts to –
- manipulate public opinion
- hire bloggers to attack Monsanto critics
- pay scientists to besmirch scientists who had found Roundup carcinogenic
- ghostwrite articles to promote Roundup and bash Monsanto’s enemies
- plant science journal editors to pull articles threatening Monsanto profits
- besmirch scientists who blow the whistle on pesticide poisoning of our food
- groom and manipulate federal regulators
Monsanto has taken all these actions which the jury was not allowed to hear about in phase one. (Hence the Foreman analogy; the behemoth Foreman appeared unbeatable, especially as he had youth and raw power on his side, just as Monsanto had the bifurcation power of the court on its side, as well as a judge who had once worked for a law firm which defended Monsanto.)
Some of Monsanto’s Machinations now Fair Game
In phase two of the trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys can now show the jury some of Monsanto’s devious moves behind-the-scenes to manipulate public opinion and ply federal regulators to help hide Roundup’s poison profile.
The key word is some. Judge Vince Chhabria, who had granted Monsanto attorneys’ requests to handicap the plaintiff’s side by bifurcating the first Monsanto trial in federal court, is also keeping a tight rein on what evidence he will allow even now.
Since Mr. Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012, Chhabria has said that he will not allow evidence against Monsanto that came to light after that time.
Monsanto IARC Evidence Stifled
This ruling means that plaintiffs will not be allowed to show evidence of how Monsanto secretly hired ostensibly “objective” scientists to denounce the World Health Organization after its International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate in Roundup a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
The Seralini Affair Evidence Stifled
The jury will also not see evidence of how Monsanto used its media monies worldwide to attack French researcher Dr. Geiles Seralini after he performed a two-year rat study which showed how rats fed glyphosate developed hideous tumors. That study was so threatening to Monsanto that the company quietly enlisted several scientists (who were on the company’s payroll in one way or another) to manufacture outrage about the legitimacy of the rat tumor study. Monsanto also quietly (but not quietly enough, obviously, for it was all discovered later) had an editor installed at the offending journal, who then pulled the article from publication. To this day, Monsanto claims that the Seralini study was pulled from publication because it failed a test of scientific legitimacy. However, what Monsanto’s misinformation minions always fail to say is that there was such legitimate outrage in the honest scientific community over Monsanto’s subterfuge in the Seralini affair that the “pulled” journal article was re-peer reviewed and then re-published in another scientific journal.
There was nothing wrong with the Seralini study in the first place, which is why it was published in the first place and also why it was republished.
There was something wrong with Monsanto, there is something wrong with Roundup, and with Monsanto’s duplicitous and even arguably criminal actions, as there has always been something wrong with Monsanto. Just as there is something wrong with Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone, something very wrong with Monsanto’s PCBs and a host of other toxic products which spread misery and death as they raise Monsanto profits.
We pray that the truth will out, and that more people, like the jury in California, will come to see that the vast poisoning of our world by Monsanto does not bode well for any of God’s creatures, who count on the humanity and intelligence of decent men and women everywhere to protect the bounty of the earth. Religion is on our side and so is the science, as Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, by Steven M. Druker, shows us.
Down goes Monsanto!
George Foreman got religion in his later years, by his own admission. He dropped the hateful bully routine and began to work at becoming a better human being. Now, if only Monsanto would do the same, we could all be living in a better place. Let’s all dare to dream.