"Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller caused cancer"court says

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Monsanto is to pay $A400 million in damages after a Californian jury agreed on all counts that exposure to Roundup weedkiller caused the groundsman’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

The Californian Supreme Court handed down this judgement on August 13, just two months after Monsanto’s new owner, Bayer, acquired the world’s largest seed and chemical corporation.

The case refers to the imminent death of school groundskeeper Lee Johnson who, having mixed up hundreds of gallons of Roundup herbicide and having been frequently soaked in it from head to foot after applying it, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2014.

This case was brought forward due to Lee’s less-than-six-month life expectancy, and now sets a precedent to an estimated 4,000 cases awaiting trial, should this case survive appeal.

Diggers has been fighting Monsanto and GE technology for 20 years.

How does it work?

Zero is the Australian garden version of the Roundup patent (also known as glyphosate).  When released in 1974, it was an immediate success – preventing photosynthesis by blocking a specific enzyme, causing plants to suffer a quick and total death.

Due to a lack of solubility, a wetting agent was added, which studies indicate is not benign.

When releasing Zero in the mid-1970s, Monsanto made the extraordinary claim that it was safe enough to drink!

How Roundup was used to dominate the seed industry

The genius of Monsanto was to apply this total weedkiller on broad-acre crops like wheat, canola, corn, soy and cotton, which were all genetically modified to withstand the spraying of this glyphosate weedkiller that killed all other plants and weeds.

The original purpose of Monsanto’s GM technology was never for the public good, but rather as a mechanism to gain monopoly control of the international seed market for crops like corn, soy and canola.

In just 20 years through the ownership of biological patents (GM seeds), just three huge corporations control 66% of our food supply from seeds.  That means publicly owned seeds selected and improved by farmers starting in the fertile crescent 120,000 years ago are now largely owned by multinational corporations.

No species that loses control of its food supply has ever survived.  Will we?

 

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Clive Blazey

Clive is the founder of The Diggers Club, a pioneer in the rescue of heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties and author of seven books on flower, vegetable and fruit gardening.

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