More Than 400 Glyphosate Cancer Lawsuits Can Go to Trial, Judge Rules
A federal judge presiding over more than 400 lawsuits claiming that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer—causes cancer ruled Tuesday that the plaintiffs could present their evidence in court, ABC reported.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the evidence presented by experts in March hearings linking glyphosate to a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were "not junk science" and could be heard by a jury. However he also said the evidence was "rather weak" and that lawyers faced a "daunting challenge" in convincing him to let the jury hear evidence linking individual cancer cases to glyphosate.
The plaintiffs' lawyers were pleased with the ruling.
"It's time to hold Monsanto accountable for putting this dangerous product on the market," lawyer Aimee Wagstaff told Reuters.
"Moving forward, we will continue to defend these lawsuits with robust evidence that proves there is absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer," Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement reported by ABC. "We have sympathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the science clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause."
However, U.S. agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have concluded that glyphosate is safe if properly used. A 2017 National Institutes of Health study found no links between glyphosate and cancer.
Beate Ritz, a University of California, Los Angeles epidemiologist and one of the experts who will be allowed to testify, said in the March hearing that the NIH study was flawed and that her review of the research led her to conclude there was a credible link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Monsanto argued that the information presented by the plaintiffs' experts was not legally or scientifically admissible and urged Chhabria to dismiss the cases, Reuters reported.
There are 5,000 cases against Monsanto pending, mostly in state courts. While Chhabria's ruling has no direct bearing on the state cases, state judges, including one hearing the most Roundup cases in California, were following his expert hearings and Chhabria's decison, Reuters reported.Lawyers in the first Roundup-related case to go to trial, brought by dying San Francisco groundskeeper Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, gave their opening statements Monday.
Monsanto Bullies EPA on Glyphosate Ruling https://t.co/Y7nrDbchcc @pesticideaction @bpncamp— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524692106.0
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By Brett Wilkins
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the Covid-19 pandemic, as shown in documents published Monday by Public Citizen and American Oversight.
<div id="13077" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11b9fe5ff48ebc437353df6df9c2c892"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1305915938148147205" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just a week before the Trump administration issued an executive order aimed at keeping meat packing plants open, th… https://t.co/DkbXgPm4YR</div> — ProPublica (@ProPublica)<a href="https://twitter.com/propublica/statuses/1305915938148147205">1600189597.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="36e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e7c8048c2755109629a3b3072fcb3261"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304424041814593539" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Meatpacking union @UFCW, which reps workers at this plant (four of whom died), slams OSHA for the small $13k fine a… https://t.co/tnhfKd89ab</div> — Dave Jamieson (@Dave Jamieson)<a href="https://twitter.com/jamieson/statuses/1304424041814593539">1599833901.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents Smithfield Foods workers, <a href="https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2020/09/10/osha-fines-smithfield-foods-sioux-falls-south-dakota/5768786002/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f7bf3f03-ce98-4df4-9c45-f44d9a6a5890" target="_blank">slammed</a> the fine as "insulting and a slap on the wrist."</p><p>"How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump administration, clearly not much," said UFCW president Marc Perrone.</p><p>"This so-called 'fine' is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic," Perrone added. </p><p>Other critics, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights and environmental advocates argued that the accelerated spread of Covid-19 from meatpacking facilities is but the latest compelling argument in favor of reducing—or eliminating—meat consumption.</p><p>"We know that Covid-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/meat-shortage-slaugherhouses-go-vegan/" target="_blank">said</a> in April amid news that a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Livingston, California was <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-slaughterhouse-meat-concerns/?utm_source=PETA::Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=0420::veg::PETA::Twitter::Workers%20Blame%20Major%20Pig%20Slaughterhouse%20600%20Infected%20COVID-19::::tweet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ordered closed</a> by local health authorities due to a Covid-19 outbreak that killed eight employees.</p>
<div id="28490" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="48ddd3480a2beb42597d9516ef652f0f"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1252416495990140929" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! @SmithfieldFoods allegedly took NO PRECAUTIONS to protect the safety of its workers, leaving o… https://t.co/viAJ026pLy</div> — PETA (@PETA)<a href="https://twitter.com/peta/statuses/1252416495990140929">1587434336.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"It's not a matter of <em>whether</em> using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak—it's a matter of <em>when</em>," said PETA. "There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh." </p>
By Andrea Willige
More than half of the world's population lives in cities, and most future population growth is predicted to happen in urban areas. But the concentration of large numbers of people and the ecosystems built around their lives has also been a driver of climate change.