Six years ago, in July of 2013, when I learned about the fact that glyphosate was not only sprayed on GMOs, but on many grains and food crops as a drying agent, I knew we must not only raise awareness about the risks of GMOs, but glyphosate as well. I was told not to go after Roundup. That is was "too big." That it was the most widely used herbicide in the world and we would never stop the chemical companies. Many saw me and our mom's group as irrational and perhaps even naive. But we were determined and we initiated glyphosate testing in water, urine, and our breast milk. The results were shocking and the public realized that their families were being contaminated by this dangerous weedkiller. Many other groups began to test for glyphosate in foods, beer, snacks, sanitary products (all positive) and eventually the media picked up the results. New scientific studies were conducted and lawyers began to take interest.
Today for the second time over the past eight months a jury has unanimously found Monsanto guilty of hiding the fact that they knew their glyphosate-based herbicide product, Roundup, could cause cancer. This time, the plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman, in a federal trial, was awarded $80 million dollars. $5 million was in compensatory and $75 million in punitive damages. In the first trial, Johnson v. Monsanto the jury awarded the plaintiff $289 million dollars and the judge reduces the award to $79 million. At this rate, with thousands of other cases filed against Monsanto, Bayer may be facing payments of $880 billion dollars. Bayer purchased Monsanto for $63 billion just last year.
According to a Reuter's article:
In the trial’s second phase, Hardeman’s lawyers were able to present previously excluded internal documents allegedly showing the company’s efforts to influence scientists and regulators about the widely-used product’s safety.
Lawyers for Hardeman were seen by a Reuters reporter cheering in the elevator outside the courtroom after the verdict was announced.
“As demonstrated throughout trial, since Roundup’s inception over 40 years ago, Monsanto refuses to act responsibly,” Hardeman’s lawyers said in a statement, adding that the company instead focused on “manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about Roundup.”
There are more than 760 other federal cases against Monsanto pending in the same court before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria and 11,200 across the United States.
The results of this trial are a huge win, not only for the plaintiff and their family, but for mothers, fathers, and the public everywhere, who have been struggling to protect their families from Monsanto's chemicals. It is a win against resignation and doubt. An example of what can happen when people stand up for their health and face the largest corporations in the world, and say, "No more."
Moms Across America