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As Landmark Glyphosate Case Moves to Trial, Man Dying of Cancer to Have Day in Court With Monsanto
By Jessica Corbett
A California man dying of cancer will soon become the first person ever to take agrochemical giant Monsanto to trial over allegations that the company has concealed findings that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company's popular weedkiller Roundup, causes cancer.
Before DeWayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of three, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 42, he worked for a school district in California, "where his responsibilities included direct application of Roundup and RangerPro, another Monsanto glyphosate product, to school properties," according to his "landmark" lawsuit.
"Monsanto does not want the truth about Roundup and cancer to become public," Johnson's attorney, Michael Miller, told the Guardian. "We look forward to exposing how Monsanto hid the risk of cancer and polluted the science."
Monsanto attempted to bar Johnson's experts from testifying and his legal team from using certain research to argue that Johnson's cancer is tied to his exposure to Monsanto's products. In an order issued last week, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtin Karnow granted some of Monsanto's requests, but will still allow Johnson's lawyers to use numerous peer-reviewed studies and expert testimonies during the trial, which begins June 18.
Glyphosate has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the state of a California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, U.S. and European regulators have continued to allow its widespread use in agriculture, despite concerns raised by scientists and anti-pesticide activists.
Just last week, a team of U.S. and European researchers released a new study on the likely dangers of glyphosate that, as Common Dreams reported, bolsters "persistent concerns about the pesticide's impact on sexual development, genotoxicity, and intestinal bacteria, even when exposure is limited to a level currently considered 'safe' by U.S. regulators."
Monsanto has continuously denied all allegations and scientific findings that glyphosate is carcinogenic. A trove of internal records released last year raised serious concerns about the company's efforts to influence news coverage and scientific studies on the chemical.
The Guardian noted that "some 4,000 plaintiffs have sued Monsanto alleging exposure to Roundup caused them, or their loved ones, to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma," and "another case is scheduled for trial in October, in Monsanto's home town of St. Louis, Missouri."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.