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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: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:58AM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 23 2018, @02:58AM (#697097) Journal

    There are more alternatives than just "glyphosate or organic". Agent Orange and glyphosate have been indicted many times. Monsanto spent zillions of dollars (like the tobacco industry) to "prove" that their product is "safe".

    What did we do before glyphosate and neonics? Yeah, there was DDT, but that wasn't the only insecticide ever used.

    Why is glyphosate pushed so hard, anyway? Or, neonics? Obviously, the owner (Bayer owns both now, of course) can produce it cheaply, and reap a huge profit. Other insecticides may be more expensive to manufacture, may or may not be less effective, and thus, be less profitable. But, the fact is, there ARE alternatives.

    And, this brings us back to the old arguments against monocultures. Assuming that we need to kill bugs, why do we want to use the same insecticide all over the world, on all crops? Don't some bugs build up a tolerance? What if glyphosates stop working? What then? Will we be completely helpless against the bug invasion?

    Huh. I'm headed to Hollywierd. I think I've got a blockbuster here . . . .

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday June 23 2018, @03:01AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 23 2018, @03:01AM (#697100) Journal

    Glyphosate isn't an insecticide - it's an herbicide. Everyone here knew that, lol, and so did I. I'm doing to many things at once, including getting ready for work. Sorry!

  • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Saturday June 23 2018, @03:46AM (1 child)

    by Sulla (5173) on Saturday June 23 2018, @03:46AM (#697114) Journal

    I was going with the assumption that getting rid of monsanto was same as getting rid of every product they make. We could survive without a few of their chems, but we would face hardship if all of them went away all at once.

    Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam