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posted by martyb on Friday June 22 2018, @11:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the something-that-kills-something-might-be-bad-for-you dept.

In the first trial of its kind, a Californian dying of cancer is suing US agrochemical giant Monsanto, claiming its popular herbicide Roundup caused his disease—a case that could have sweeping ramifications.

The stakes are high for Monsanto, which could face massive losses should it have to pay out damages over the product, whose main ingredient is glyphosate, a substance which some say is dangerously carcinogenic.

Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father of two, says he is sick because of contact with Roundup, which he used for two years from 2012 as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district near San Francisco, his lawyer Timothy Litzenburg told AFP.

Thousands of lawsuits targeting Monsanto are currently proceeding through the US court system, according to American media.

Litzenburg says he represents hundreds of people who also say they are victims of glyphosate.

Whether the substance causes cancer has been the source of endless debate among government regulators, health experts and lawyers.

"A major part of that job was spraying Roundup or Ranger Pro (a similar Monsanto product)... He sprayed it 20 to 40 times per year, sometimes hundreds of gallons at a time on the school properties," Litzenburg said.

In 2014, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that affects white blood cells. Two years later, and no longer able to work, he filed suit against Monsanto, which he accuses of hiding its product's dangers.

"His case has been expedited because he currently has only a few months to live," his lawyer said.

Wikipedia entry on glyphosate.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Friday June 22 2018, @11:42PM (4 children)

    by VLM (445) on Friday June 22 2018, @11:42PM (#697030)

    whose main ingredient is glyphosate, a substance which some say is dangerously carcinogenic.

    Who? Not any unbiased scientist, that's for sure.

    There are a couple issues:

    1) Theres a difference between same dose rates and insane. You shouldn't bathe in that stuff nor drink it 50:50 with your drinking water. That does not imply its bad or dangerous; A quart or two of water is necessary for life, try drinking 100 quarts and you will literally die. That does not imply water is toxic.

    2) Its not even remotely the main ingredient, its the "active ingredient". A sprayer of roundup is like 99% "stuff that aint glyphosate" which is intended to buffer and preserve the glyphosate which is chemically delicate and not long lived... normally. I don't know what the hell is in roundup and it may very well cause cancer. I hope they're not using raw benzene for example. I wouldn't worry about the 1% glyphosate in the sprayer of roundup; I'd worry about the WTF is the 99% inactive ingredient. It smells, thats for sure.

    Its kinda like a vitamin tablet thats mostly sucrose plus like 5 mg of zinc or WTF. Now, if you made a tablet that contains 5 mg of zinc and a gram of pure cyanide, and that cyanide killed the user, that doesn't magically prove zinc kills people. Also if you make perfectly normal aspirin tablets and they work perfectly well at normal doses, it can also be true that the user dies horribly if they take the entire bottle at once. That isn't much of a good argument for banning aspirin.

    People are also extremely careful not to discuss the side effects of banning glyphosate... its not like the worlds farmers are going to throw their hands in the air and give up farming and become app developers and we'll all live off self caught rats and cockroaches. There are replacements, some much more dangerous. So ... lets say glyphosate killed 1000 people a year. I don't think it does, but lets say it does for the sake of the argument. Thats great, now we can replace it with the second best that we know kills 2000 per year and costs twice as much. I'm just saying, the usual two minutes hate against glyphosate usually have no game plan. OK we all hate it for two minutes... then what? Who decides who dies of starvation? Who can't afford food anymore, gets to grow up stunted? Crickets, you say?

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Saturday June 23 2018, @12:17AM (1 child)

    by VLM (445) on Saturday June 23 2018, @12:17AM (#697047)

    I was motivated to look up the MSDS, there are a lot of glyphosate products most running about 40% of one or another glyphosate salt and 60% god knows what.

    glyphosate looks pretty harmless compared to Isopropylamine. So the solution (ugh the pun) is the potassium salt instead of Isopropylamine, assuming its the real culprit, which its statistically unlikely to be, but maybe...

    • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Sunday June 24 2018, @03:35AM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 24 2018, @03:35AM (#697447) Journal

      I was motivated to look up the MSDS, there are a lot of glyphosate products most running about 40% of one or another glyphosate salt and 60% god knows what.

      Setting aside the question of glyphosate itself, it is these new products with their "God knows what" ingredients which are not only exceedingly toxic but persistent. That stuff is still marketed as "roundup" which people believe is glyphosate, but it includes something else. It's now common to see trees die across the street from where that stuff is sprayed because the persistent agents make their way to the trees' roots on its way to the water table.

      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:17AM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:17AM (#697081) Homepage Journal

    There's no such animal as an unbiased scientist, believe me. When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.

    And don't worry, we're keeping RoundUp. Because if we lose that one it'll be a DISASTER for our Country. And for our great great farmers. Because RoundUp stops the weeds. And without it we'd have to send our beautiful American workers into the fields. Or our robots. But our workers are very busy right now -- we have the lowest unemployment rate in 18 years. And the lowest African American unemployment since the Civil War. We don't have enough workers. And robots, very expensive. The Dems want open borders, they want foreign workers to be able to just walk into our Country. They want Mexicans and everyone else picking our fruits & vegetables, pulling weeds, touching our food. And making us very sick (Romaine lettuce). No. The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won't be. If you look at what's happening in Europe, if you look at what's happening in other places, we can't allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch!

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:58AM

      by captain normal (2205) on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:58AM (#697096)

      Wow you seem to have learned a few new words in the last couple of days, and have improved your vocabulary!! Way to go! Keep it up!

      Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--