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posted by martyb on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:57AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the trial-roundup dept.

Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

Monsanto has long worked to "bully scientists" and suppress evidence of the cancer risks of its popular weedkiller, a lawyer argued on Monday in a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation.

"Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully ... and to fight independent researchers," said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. "They fought science."

Wisner, who spoke inside a crowded San Francisco courtroom, is representing DeWayne Johnson, known also as Lee, a California man whose cancer has spread through his body. The father of three and former school groundskeeper, who doctors say may have just months to live, is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer. Thousands have made similar legal claims across the US.

Monsanto? Never heard of it.

Also at the San Francisco Chronicle.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Glyphosate Cancer Trial 49 comments

Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million in California Roundup cancer trial

A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused him cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

The jury at San Francisco's Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.

It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/monsanto-ordered-to-pay-289m-in-california-roundup-cancer-trial.html

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million to Man Who Claimed Glyphosate Caused His Cancer

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It's the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. "The jury got it wrong," vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.

The claimant in the case, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.

Monsanto? Never heard of it. Did you mean Bayer AG?

Previously: Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Monsanto Faces First US Trial Over Roundup Cancer Link
Monsanto Cancer Trial Begins in San Francisco

Related: Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Monsanto No More 52 comments

Monsanto, a brand name activists love to hate, will disappear as Bayer takes over:

These days Monsanto is shorthand for, as NPR's Dan Charles has put it, "lots of things that some people love to hate": Genetically modified crops, which Monsanto invented. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. Herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup, which protesters have sharply criticized for its possible health risks. Big agriculture in general, of which Monsanto was the reviled figurehead.

And soon Monsanto will be no more. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant and pesticide powerhouse, announced in 2016 it would be buying Monsanto in an all-cash deal for more than $60 billion. Now, as the merger approaches, Bayer has confirmed what many suspected: In the merger, the politically charged name "Monsanto" will be disappearing. The combined company will be known simply as Bayer, while product names will remain the same. The move is not exactly a surprise — it makes sense that Bayer might want to weed out some of the intense negative associations associated with the Monsanto brand. In a way, it's an indication of how successful anti-Monsanto protesters have been in shaping public perception.

In the company's latest statement, Bayer implicitly acknowledged how hostile debates over genetically modified crops and other agricultural products have become. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground," the chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann, said in the statement. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto
Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion

Roundup: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death
GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:06AM (64 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:06AM (#705509)

    HERE ME OUT!

    The reason that "independent" scientists get bullied is because a company is retroactively liable for the voluntary use of its product; if it were culturally and politically understood that a consumer uses a product at his own peril, and that a company were NOT liable until a product is somehow objectively proven dangerous, then there would be not (or not nearly as much) bullying or covering up.

    Lives (or quality of life) could be saved if the government backed such a "caveat emptor" policy, because it would free the worthless, self-serving, sociopathic, asian/Jewish MBAs to acknowledge publicly that a product has indeed been found dangerous without worrying about the repercussions from the cheap-ass consumers' stupid choices in the past.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:08AM (#705512)

      s/Here/Hear/

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:21AM (25 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:21AM (#705520)

      Allowing companies to be protected against liability under any circumstance is always a recipe for disaster.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:29AM (24 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:29AM (#705524)

        The real damage is caused by the fact that a corporation CANNOT admit guilt, EVER.

        Without the OP's "Caveat Emptor", no one can ever know that a product is killing him, and thus ever more people are, ironically, hoodwinked into danger by a governmental policy that is meant to protect them. Allow companies to acknowledge danger without repercussion, and you'll save so many lives.

        Please! PLEASE!

        When will you wee humans learn that your heuristical thinking always result in backwards deductions. Caveat Emptor saves lives; retrospective liability hurts lives.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:00AM (14 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:00AM (#705542)

          What market forces do you suppose exist that would guide corporations to admit guilt in the absence of this claimed retroactive liability?

          Refusing to sell an item is free speech that does not constitute guilt unless I am mistaken. Don't you suppose that if a corporation learns that one of its products is harmful, at a minimum, it would simply stop selling it due to those market forces?

          I also believe voluntary recalls are a thing.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:30AM (13 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:30AM (#705563)

            I never suggested that corporations need to be guided to admit guilt. Rather, I suggested that corporations need to be free from retroactive guilt.

            That "subtlety' (as you wee humans see it) makes all the difference.

            It allows for "independent" information to surface without inordinate fear from the profiteers of a poo-pooed product. Sure, reports of lethal danger will hurt the bottom line, but it won't imply bankruptcy, and it won't imply endless years of overhead; the corporation can pivot to some other stream of revenue.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:49AM (12 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:49AM (#705571)

              What would be the difference between a Monsanto with an inordinate fear and a Monsanto that merely fears losing sales?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:53AM (11 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:53AM (#705573)

                Society would benefit from a product, and then society would more rapidly move on to a safer product or safer practices.

                • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:10AM (10 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:10AM (#705579)

                  This is already the status quo. You have not demonstrated how an anarcho-capitalist Monsanto would behave differently from the real Monsanto.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:24AM (9 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:24AM (#705586)

                    I never said any such thing, and I don't think the logical framework of our comments can adequately support the discussion of such an idea.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:28AM (8 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:28AM (#705589)

                      So are you saying that Monsanto's behavior would not be changed?

                      I am merely trying to follow your logic, and by asking questions, I am giving you the principle of charity.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:50AM (7 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:50AM (#705595)

                        That translates to: "I'm better than you, and I'm pandering to your obviously lower intelligence."

                        How about you ask a real question, rather than some hypothetical that only has meaning to your mind?

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:42PM (5 children)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:42PM (#705688)

                          lol

                          In order to support the proposal, it must have advantages. Have you never taken high school debate class? I am running a negative argument, and you are running an affirmative argument.

                          I think my question is fair. It is hardly hypothetical, when we are so faced with the question of corporations who have a market interest in manipulating scientific studies.

                          I ask again. How would your proposal change Monsanto's behavior?

                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:04PM (4 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:04PM (#705722)

                            same AC as parent

                            How would your proposal change Monsanto's behavior?

                            I realize I am asking the wrong question. Let me try again. How would your proposal help the free market drive a bad actor such as Monsanto out of business in favor of a more honest competitor?

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:30PM (3 children)

                              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:30PM (#705764)

                              The dishonesty comes from the government policy of enforcing retroactive liability; the OP is arguing that to reduce the dishonesty, one should remove the retroactive liability.

                              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:58PM (2 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:58PM (#705779)

                                So we come back again to the want of an example! If the government did not enforce retroactive liability, how would Monsanto's actions be different?

                                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @12:13PM (1 child)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @12:13PM (#706176)

                                  Monsanto would then have less of an incentive to cover up any problem; the path of least resistance would become acknowledging the problem, and thereby being able to put resources into some other revenue stream rather than defending itself at nearly all cost.

                                  I don't know how you can even dispute that.

                                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @02:40PM

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @02:40PM (#706219)

                                    The obvious rebuttal is Thexalon's having to do with well-defined property rights. Yet the story has dropped from the front page, alas.

                                    Looks like that's it, for now, but until next time, may the power of the cosmos be with you!

                                    Yes! Yes! Yes!

                        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday July 16 2018, @02:30PM

                          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday July 16 2018, @02:30PM (#707891)

                          That translates to: "I'm better than you, and I'm pandering to your obviously lower intelligence."

                          Says the guy who's complaining about "you wee humans" as if he's some higher form of life...

                          --
                          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:12AM (8 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:12AM (#705554)

          Wow youre a moron. So companies have zero incentive to research whether their product is safe? Then when it is found out they caused cancer in millions of people they can hide behind "caveat emptor"? God damn youre a shill, or if not being paid an absolute moron. Like epic levels of stupidity. EPIC!

          • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:34AM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:34AM (#705567)

            Safety is a lie.

            Nothing ever gets done by people who demand absolute safety. They just die, alone, wimpering in a damp cave.

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:43AM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:43AM (#705592)

              No one said "absolute safety" but to give an example, tobacco! It was known for a very long time that cigarettes massively increased the chances of lung cancer but it was swept under the rug and then promoted to children! That is your vaunted "free market" at work. Without legal culpability corporations are easily taken over by sociopaths who rationalize that the consumer is the moron so why not take their money. Oh, they die earlier? Well good riddance to an idiot willing to smoke themselves to death! /s

              Most likely you're just another internet troll trying to get reactions for the lulz, but I respond as if you're serious because it is worth the risk of giving some troll what he wants if at least a few others are given pause when considering our shitty vaunted capitalist system.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:54AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:54AM (#705597)

                I mean, what could your point possibly be?

                Big Government and Big Tobacco were in indisputable cahoots; as always, Government is the problem because it holds some strange, inexplicable reverence by society.

                There's nothing about Big Tobacco that was "Free Market'. NOTHING.

                I'm not a troll. I'm really not. I just want you fuckers to leave me alone. Get your guns out of my face.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:17PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:17PM (#705682)

                It was known for a very long time that cigarettes massively increased the chances of lung cancer

                Noone figured out how to have tobacco smoke give a mammal cancer until 2005. All the methods that worked for other carcinogens (eg radioactive dust) failed. What finally worked is putting specially bred mice in a smoke filled tank within 12 hours of birth, doing this every day for their entire adolescence (4 months), then stopping the procedure for just as long. Thats right, they need to simulate quitting smoking to get the cancer. Tobacco smoke is a very weak carcinogen, if it even is at all more than anything else.

                • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:15PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:15PM (#705699)

                  Source:

                  Strain A mice were exposed first to a comparatively high concentration of ETS, generated from the sidestream (89%) and mainstream (11%) smoke from burning Kentucky 1R4F cigarettes, as described before in detail [9]. After a 5-month exposure, the animals were allowed to recover in air for another 4 months before evaluation of the lung tumor response. The same protocol was eventually adopted by three other laboratories [10–12].
                  [...]
                  The flat dose-response suggests that tobacco smoke is a comparatively weak carcinogen. A previous study in which a dose-response was conducted in one single experiment came to the same conclusion [13]. It may to some extent explain why most inhalation studies done with tobacco smoke in mice failed to give a positive tumor response [14, 15]. The fact that ‘‘only’’ 10% to 25% of all smokers develop lung cancer [16] might also be construed to indicate that tobacco smoke is not a very potent carcinogen in man.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15765916 [nih.gov]

                  In spite of the dominant role of cigarette smoke (CS) in the epidemiology of lung tumors, tumors at other sites, and other chronic degenerative diseases [1, 2], it is very difficult to reproduce the noxious effects of this complex mixture in animal models.
                  [...]
                  During the last decade, we developed a novel murine model that convincingly reproduces the carcinogenicity of MCS [6] and its modulation under conditions mimicking interventions either in current smokers and/or ex-smokers.
                  [...]
                  Our model involves exposure of mice for 4 months, starting at birth, followed by a period of 3-4 months in filtered air in order to give enough time for the growth of histopathological lesions.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29370344 [nih.gov]

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:53PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:53PM (#705835)

                    Makes sense, the healing and regrowth is when the cancerous mutations occur. It also fits with the many anecdotal accounts of people quitting and then getting cancer.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:47PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:47PM (#705711) Journal

            damn youre a shill, or if not being paid an absolute moron

            The two are not mutually exclusive. A moron, absolute or not, can still be paid to be a shill.

            --
            I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
            • (Score: 1) by DeVilla on Thursday July 12 2018, @04:44AM

              by DeVilla (5354) on Thursday July 12 2018, @04:44AM (#706098)

              A = "you're a shill"
              B = "you're an absolute moron"
              !A -> B

              What he said is reasonable. If A is not true, then B must be true. In this case, if A is true, we can't really be certain about B.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:23AM (34 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:23AM (#705521) Homepage Journal

      Your policy might make sense, if the corporation published factual data, appropriate warnings, and did it's very best to educate users. And, I mean doing it's very best. When corporations are actively suppressing information, and at the same time actively advertising it's products, the corporation loses any moral high ground. That is why the tobacco companies lost so hard - they suppressed factual data that probably would have dissuaded some users from using. In fact, the tobacco companies advertised that smoking could make you healthier, rather than unhealthy.

      The new owner of Monsanto products, Bayer, has a poor track record in this respect. They are actively pushing neonics as insecticides, knowing full well the controversy over bee colony dieoffs. Bayer's history goes back at least as long as Monsanto. That history has it's ups and downs - they've done good things, and they've done some pretty despicable things.

      Profit. Profit comes before all other considerations with the big corporations. When that is the case, don't expect any empathy, sympathy, or even understanding for the corporation when it is finally brought to heel.

      --
      Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:32AM (33 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:32AM (#705525)

        A corporation is NOT allowed to let anyone know that there is a problem. There is a legal, fiduciary duty for executives not to believe that any problem exists.

        Doublethink is a government policy. That's what retroactive liability produces.

        Instead, a government should require chemical companies to label produces with "THIS HAS NOT YET BEEN PROVEN SAFE, AND MAY KILL YOU." That's it. When proven safe, great; when proven unsafe, it should either be removed from the market or be required to be labeled "THIS HAS BEEN PROVEN UNSAFE. CAVEAT EMPTOR."

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:50AM

          by tftp (806) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:50AM (#705534) Homepage

          A corporation is NOT allowed to let anyone know that there is a problem. There is a legal, fiduciary duty for executives not to believe that any problem exists.

          Constrained by law. Otherwise nobody would disclose that their food is infected, and millions of dollars should be thrown away. However car companies are not required to recall unless they want to, as it is rare when they are ordered to do so.

          Also it is sometimes a bad policy to deny recall. Imagine what would happened to Samsung smartphone production if they flat out refused to recall the dangerous model? But they did, and all is forgiven.

          Overall, it us a very bad plan to reject reality, to replace it by the imagination. Just ask Uber self-driving department, who sent to the streets a car that couldn't see anything in front if it and wouldn't brake. But they thought it's nearly ready.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:52AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:52AM (#705536)

          A corporation is NOT allowed to let anyone know that there is a problem..."THIS HAS BEEN PROVEN UNSAFE. CAVEAT EMPTOR."

          "Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong" - L Skywalker

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:00AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:00AM (#705543)

            I guess I'm not witty enough to get it.

            I don't get it.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:59AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:59AM (#705599)

              I guess I'm not witty enough to get it.

              I don't get it.

              It's a quote from a film, a Disney satire of Star Wars.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:54AM (18 children)

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:54AM (#705537)

          If the laws demand behavior that's bad for the public as a whole in such an obvious and egregious way, then the laws ought to be changed. And if the politicians won't change the law, they should be changed too (cue the old joke about politicians being like diapers, needing to be changed regularly, for the same reason).

          --
          Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:58AM (17 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:58AM (#705539)

            Under capitalism, you make your own law by negotiating your own contracts with other members of society.

            That's the future of Civilization. Pure Capitalism.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:05AM (9 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:05AM (#705548)

              You've mistaken capitalism, an economic system, for anarchy, a political system.

              If men were angels, they would form a society based on free market anarcho-socialism, meaning the ownership of capital by the workers, who buy and sell goods in a free market, not anarcho-capitalism.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:07AM (8 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:07AM (#705551)

                This universe has resources. They are used for this or for that.

                Everything reduces to a question of economics.

                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:19AM (7 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:19AM (#705558)

                  Ah, so we come already to an infinite regress of contract enforcement services.

                  I am having trouble picking out a contract enforcement service, and I hope you can help me. It seems we are unable to resolve who should enforce the contract enforcement contract if there is a disagreement. For example, I am concerned that any contract enforcement service I might pick might have an undisclosed agreement with the other party to the contract for which I was seeking a contract enforcement service. It seems the only way is to find a contract enforcement service to enforce the contract enforcement contract for the contract.

                  If men were angels, I suspect I would not need contract enforcement at all, alas.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:55AM (6 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:55AM (#705576)

                    The answer: Neither; they co-evolved.

                    Secondly: If men were angels, government would work.

                    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:25AM (3 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @04:25AM (#705588)

                      The answer: Neither; they co-evolved.

                      We need an answer that is more specific. All that this says is that you haven't a clue how it will work but that you have unwavering faith that it will work

                      Secondly: If men were angels, government would work.

                      How does anarcho-capitalism deal with the fact that men are not angels and that they are instead prone to escalating all conflicts to violence, no matter how clearly the facts stand against the party resorting to violence?

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:05AM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:05AM (#705600)

                        The answer has been known for a long time: Separation of Powers

                        That's why "modern" governments have multiple branches (usually legislative, judiciary, and executive); however, such a separation of powers is smoke and mirrors. The most general form of the separation of powers is competition withing a market of voluntary trade, where "voluntary" means "according to contracts to which each party agrees in advance of interaction".

                        Anarcho-capitalism doesn't deny or eschew the non-angelic nature mankind, but rather embraces it. That's why it's a superior foundation for the organization of society: It's not based on fantasy, but rather on objective reality (proven objective over millennia of observation).

                        At the level of the "nation state", there has always existed anarchy. The only reason humanity hasn't yet annihilated itself in the hell of absolute Tyranny is that there has always been some degree of a separation of powers (e.g., Russia versus the U.S., etc.).

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:49PM (1 child)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:49PM (#705689)

                          By invoking the United States and Russia, your argument rests on thin ice. Are you familiar with how Stanislav Petrov prevented nuclear war [wikipedia.org]? What is striking about that incident is not that he did the right thing.

                          You seem to have a poor grasp of capitalism if you believe it will lead to a separation of powers. We can look around us today and see the accumulation of power into the hands of fewer and fewer corporations, who become larger and larger by acquiring each other. This is an inherent property of capitalism, and it is the nature of the inherent contradiction. Rational actors in a capitalist system behave in ways that eventually destroy capitalism.

                          Can you give me some specific examples of how government interference leads to corporate mergers, so that I might understand how this would be avoided by an anarchist political system?

                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @01:11AM

                            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12 2018, @01:11AM (#706033)

                            I see this story is about to drop from the front page.

                            Looks like that's it, for now, but until next time, may the power of the cosmos be with you!

                            Yes! Yes! Yes!

                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:23PM (1 child)

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:23PM (#705734) Homepage Journal

                      Secondly: If men were angels, government would work.

                      Surely, you are aware that hell is populated by fallen angels? Lucifer is one of them. If men were angels, I suspect that things might be far worse than they are, here on earth.

                      --
                      Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:54PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:54PM (#705869)

                        Shirley you are aware of The Federalist No. 51 [constitution.org]! Let us hear what pseudo-anon Publius, who I understand has an exceptionally low UID, has to say:

                        If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:19AM (2 children)

              by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:19AM (#705559)

              Under US law, those contracts, which you frequently can't negotiate, now routinely say that you can't sue them no matter what the corporation in question does.

              Also, you can only negotiate a contract when your agreement is required for the corporation to legally do something. If, say, your neighbor is spraying poison all over his property, that's likely to affect you, and you had no opportunity to negotiate any kind of contract with either your neighbor or the manufacturer of the poison in question.

              --
              Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
              • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:46AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:46AM (#705570)

                How have you not yet convinced yourself that every problem of society is the lack of well-defined property rights.

                Capitalism is merely the philosophy that every resource ultimately needs to be associated with a well-defined owner, and that the best distribution of ownership results from an iterative process of contract negotiation, dispute resolution, and enforcement.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 11 2018, @10:40AM

                  by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @10:40AM (#705660)

                  How have you not yet convinced yourself that every problem of society is the lack of well-defined property rights.

                  Because it isn't. And I just described an example of a problem that isn't caused by a lack of well-defined property rights: A person is able to cause serious problems for his neighbor by poisoning the air, ground, or water of his own property with a chemical. And this sort of thing isn't limited to small-scale problems: For example, a few years ago poor storage of toxic chemicals near a river caused a city of 150,000 to be unable to use their primary water supply.

                  When dogmatic rules fail to match reality, the rules are incorrect and need to be changed to fit reality.

                  --
                  Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:50PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:50PM (#705713) Journal

              That's not Capitalism. That is Greed Run Amok.

              Which is the current system we have devolved into.

              --
              I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:41PM (2 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:41PM (#705830) Journal

              Under capitalism, you make your own law by negotiating your own contracts with other members of society.

              Yep! And then I take the money, deliver a fake product, and if you try to do anything about it I'll murder your family. PROFIT FOR ME!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:20PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:20PM (#705842)

                Actually, I have no idea what you think "capitalism" means; the only thing I know is that your ideas do not match mine.

                • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday July 16 2018, @02:22PM

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Monday July 16 2018, @02:22PM (#707889)

                  You people who seem to think pure, unfettered capitalism is the solution to everything overlook the fact that we have laws enforced by the government to keep companies from doing exactly what the GP is saying, promise something and then not deliver.

                  But that's "violent imposition" I'm sure, and somehow a bad thing.

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Mykl on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:36AM (8 children)

          by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:36AM (#705568)

          A corporation is NOT allowed to let anyone know that there is a problem

          Wrong.

          1. A corporation exists to make money. By a simple cost/benefit analysis, if it will cost the corporation more in the long run to hide the information and lose the trust of the public (plus fines etc) than it would by coming clean early, then the corporation should choose the option that will cost them the least
          2. You're forgetting all of those laws that they have to follow. They are NOT allowed to ignore the law. There is a legal, fiduciary duty for executives to not knowingly break the law and expose the company to potentially ruinous damages through lawsuits, sanctions, company breakups, increased regulation etc
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:49AM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:49AM (#705572)

            You wee, heuristical humans always choose the simplest route: Deny that there is a problem at all.

            This is what leads MORE disaster than NECESSARY, because the retroactive liability exacerbates the situation.

            GOD. It's so obvious it hurts. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:09AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:09AM (#705602)

              Just what God Are you praying to??

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:28AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:28AM (#705607)

                I beg myself to forgive you.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:43AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:43AM (#705609)

                Just what God Are you praying to??

                Mammon [wikipedia.org]?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:00PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:00PM (#705717)

                I believe he worships the god of Deuteronomy, which he considers a separate being from another god who is operating in different works collected in the Old Testament.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:13PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:13PM (#705680) Journal

              You wee, heuristical humans always choose the simplest route

              What exactly is supposed to be wrong with a "heuristical human"? First, heuristical means:

              1. Enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves.

              1.1. Proceeding to a solution by trial and error or by rules that are only loosely defined.

              Doesn't sound like a legit complaint to me.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @08:19AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @08:19AM (#705638)

            Lots of corporations exists for other reasons than for making money. One of the biggest of those reasons is to limit legal liabilities, but there are many other reasons. Stop spreading the false notion that greed is mandatory for corporations and that anything which increases profit is moral and is in fact immoral to not pursue. That concept is completely false and quickly leads to a massively corrupt society, which is has.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:57PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @01:57PM (#705715) Journal

              Greed and lust for power are innate in all humans.

              It does not disappear in persons who rise to the top levels of gigantic multi-national concentrations of wealth and power. In fact, they are probably prerequisites for getting into that position.

              Limiting legal liabilities is a problem. Without other government oversight, it removes the restraint to act with any motive other than the pursuit of money and power. (And fame) When our system makes it a breach of fiduciary duty to act in any manner that does not increase shareholder value, then the only option becomes one of increasing shareholder value, especially short term, regardless of other consequences. Putting executive incentive systems in place to further motivate such bad behavior only makes it worse.

              And that is how we got to where we are now.

              --
              I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @07:39AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @07:39AM (#705627)

          What the fuck makes you think they would want to put any such label on the products even it they were not responsible for previous incidents? Are you thinking at all? They would still fight the labeling and studies just as they do now just because it is a product that sells. You know nothing.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:37PM

      by sjames (2882) on Wednesday July 11 2018, @12:37PM (#705687) Journal

      Nonsense. They'll continue to suppress evidence in order to keep their cash cow alive only with even less downside for them

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:02PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:02PM (#705719) Journal

      There are other options that Monsanto could pursue.

      Come out and admit that this causes cancer, they know and always knew it causes cancer, and they are not interesting in spending time and money to find a safer alternative.

      Direct their politicians to make it mandatory to use Roundup and sue people who fail to comply.

      Acquire other corporations, and have Roundup added as an ingredient in cosmetics and children's breakfast cereal. Honeycomb's big, yeah, yeah, yeah! It's not small, no, no no! They're magically delicious.

      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:29AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:29AM (#705523)
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:20AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 11 2018, @03:20AM (#705560) Journal

      Stock photos really come through when you need them.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:04PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 11 2018, @02:04PM (#705720) Journal

      That looks like a Monsanto researcher who just found out that his product is less likely to cause cancer than another Monsanto product. He needs to try harder.

      --
      I had some thoughts about lasers, but they were incoherent.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @06:50AM (#705619)

    The plaintiffs should be careful on how they argue the case. Roundup is not just one chemical. I see lots of emphasis on glyphosate and "chemical" (note singular) in the linked articles and summary. So they might be making a big strategic mistake.

    Roundup is far more than just glyphosate. So if you focus on glyphosate, Monsanto might be able to prove that it was reasonable for them to believe and claim that glyphosate is safe and convince the court that Roundup and thus Monsanto was not responsible.

    In contrast there's scientific evidence that the whole Roundup formulation is far more toxic than glyphosate alone.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/ [scientificamerican.com]

    Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

    One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”

    “This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955666/ [nih.gov]

    Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @10:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @10:33AM (#705659)

    So many people are going to be hurt by this gene editing thing (at least the current iterations that, at best, just chop up DNA and hope for the best). Between selecting for pre-existing mutants at the site, selecting for cells with dysfunctional DNA damage detection pathways, off target cuts, and (perhaps most importantly) not really understanding the overall consequences of introducing the (intended) new sequence to the system there are going to be a lot of problems.

    I don't see any way of stopping it though, people seem to have their mind set on accepting "experimental treatments" as long as there is enough hype and it gives them hope.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @05:19PM (#705813)

    Monsanto is now owned by foreign interests, time to get the milking started.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @09:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11 2018, @09:35PM (#705947)

    Weird thing.. all these terrorists are supposedly against evil people and organizations. But they seem to consistently miss outright evil corporations.
    Doesn't that tell you who holds their rein?

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