By now most of you have probably heard about the $289 million jury awarded damage settlement against Monsanto on Friday. In the first of some 4,000 pending cases against Monsanto, a high school groundskeeper named Dewayne Johnson, 46, alleged that Roundup contributed substantially to his non-Hodgkins lymphoma. His case went to trial first due to his severe health condition.
Roundup and its main active ingredient glyphosate, has been a Monsanto staple for 40 years and has received every regulatory green light imaginable. Of course, after the verdict, Monsanto said it would appeal and pointed to 800 scientific studies, the EPA and the National Institutes of Health as corroboration that the product is safe and does not cause cancer.
The plaintiffs, of course, are salivating over the prospect of 4,000 more cases, even prophesying that Monsanto will not appeal. That's silly. Of course Monsanto will appeal, and likely will win. Much hinges on use according to the label, and Johnson did not take the precautions written on the label.
The case may eventually come down to internal memos, much like the fall of the tobacco companies finally came down to cancer cover-ups. According to some reports, the discovery process for the case unearthed internal documents that show Monsanto knew Roundup causes cancer.
Another interesting element from the case is the little-known reality that when government agencies test these toxic brands, they do not test them in combination. In other words, Roundup is not just glyphosate; it has other chemicals to encourage penetration, desiccation, or whatever. In the U.S., combinations are not tested; only single chemicals. But of course, chemical cocktails are the norm; to not test the combination, or the cocktail of the final product is simply asinine.
Having been in front of a jury and a participant in the antics of modern American courtrooms, I can assure everyone that this case is not the end of Monsanto. Johnson will not get the money. It is far, far from over.
At the risk of being perceived as the only person in the world unsympathetic toward Johnson (for the record, I believe Roundup did in fact contribute to his illness and feel terrible for him and his family) I'm dubious regarding his testimony that had he known it was carcinogenic, he would not have used it. Witnesses are groomed and prepped to play to the jury. Listen carefully. I would not use Roundup, period. Lots of people wouldn't.
At some point, people must be responsible for their decisions. I don't trust Monsanto, so I don't use their products. I don't trust McDonald's so I don't use their products. I don't trust Chick-fil-A, so I don't eat there.
At some point people can't go blindly through life assuming someone else will make all their decisions for them. If everyone were in my tribe, we wouldn't have Roundup; we wouldn't even have Monsanto. Will someone please pay me for thinking clearly and acting soberly?
Japan does not recognize emotional suffering in any litigation, period. And Toyota runs circles around American companies who are hamstrung by our victimhood mentality. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Assuming hitting Monsanto with $289 million award will make things fair or right doesn't deal with the ramifications that it just made things much more difficult for me to get you a glass of raw milk or a pastured chicken. Unintended consequences occur in many areas of life, and tort litigation is one of the biggest.
Any person in the world could find somebody who did them wrong, who complicated their life. So who do I sue? Johnson could have read all the reports I've read that make me believe Roundup shouldn't be on the planet. But he didn't. All the women still taking their kiddos to McDonald's--they could read the reports I've read about factory farming and the despicable nutrition--have you seen the documentary SUPERSIZE ME? The information is there, and it's available more now than ever.
So put down People magazine, turn off the TV, and join the lunatic fringe. Each of us is responsible for our decisions. To say we're not puts the whole society and certainly the innovative fringes, in jeopardy. If you've never been sued, you probably can't wrap your head around my position here. Just wait until you're sued. You might change your tune. This blog is for thinking people who dare to open their minds to alternative views. I'm no friend of Monsanto, but I'm also no friend of a system that assumes we're not responsible for our decisions.
Have you ever been sued?