(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
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.