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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: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22 2018, @11:43PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22 2018, @11:43PM (#697031)

    Analyzing 44 individual research projects published since 1980, the scientists, writing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said that people exposed to the weed killer glyphosate, marked by Monsanto under the brand name Roundup, had double the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    Those exposed to 2,4-D, another potent weed killer marketed by Dow Chemical, were 40 percent more likely to develop this disease.

    (source [])

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Saturday June 23 2018, @12:03AM (2 children)

    by VLM (445) on Saturday June 23 2018, @12:03AM (#697044)

    had double the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

    NHL is weird BTW. Its not very clear why, but many bacteria and virus infections seem correlated with NHL. NHL also mostly strikes old people, again, weird. Immunosuppressives somehow seem to cause it. Its such a strange combo. Would not be surprised if its some kind of autoimmune disease in the end, when its eventually figured out, assuming it ever is.

    Chemically glyphosate does not seem to have much of anything to do with what we know causes NHL. The solvents and crap the glyphosate is dissolved in, in the roundup product, well, damn if i know, and they're the vast majority of the product.

    They're talking about something that's not terribly well understood, so making legal policy decisions might be a little premature. Maybe the real problem is witches or poltergeists.

    Solvents as a cause or risk factor of autoimmune diseases is a thing... I'm just saying replacing glyphosate with something less effective in the same chemical brew being sprayed will not result in lower NHL rates according to this theory. Or applying glyphosate using another application technology would be zero NHL risk (although I suppose Monsanto would still be liable for selling the bad mix)

    You know what else is strange about NHL? Its fairly common, but so little is understood about it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23 2018, @05:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23 2018, @05:36PM (#697256)

      to no one in particular...
      many things get blamed on the immune system as autoimmune diseases just to cover for the fact that scientists can't see what the immune system sees and to sell druigs that make you worse so they can sell you more drugs and hack on you some more when you get sick from all their interventions. they are worse than street dealers. i suspect in many cases the immune system is just doing it's goddamn job. it's not your immune system's fault you are eating processed horse shit until your BBB looks like it got mad cow'd and then eating more shit that is passing into your brain until the immune system has no choice but to attack your brain which is coated with your beloved doritos sludge and unknown viruses.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23 2018, @11:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23 2018, @11:55PM (#697389)

      NHL has two main variants, about 50% prevalence each. The only way to tell them apart is that chemo, usually CHOP-R, cures one of them. The other is fatal.
      Not having chemo is also fatal, but not as quickly as having chamo and the bad variant.
      This is not a popular thing among doctors, because you are basically saying that the doctors are making 50% of their patients die faster. Doctors do not like to hear that.