Monsanto has been slapped upside its ugly head with a major loss in a momentous court battle that just might bring the agrochemical giant to its knees. The ruling is that the company will have to pay $290 million dollars in liability fees over the peddling of its flagship herbicide, Roundup.
Monsanto has been embroiled in a heck of a lot of controversy over the years. They have been banned in many countries all over the world. Really, the United States is the only advanced nation on Earth where they can operate freely, with the possible exception of Australia. And despite the unbelievable amount of insider protection it must have taken to protect their legal right to do business in America- they have still come under heavy fire.
Over recent years, the company has been accused and found guilty in courts all of the world of all manner of egregious crimes. In 2016, they were charged with crimes against humanity in the Netherlands. Many who had suffered at the hands of Monsanto hoped the judgment would destroy the company. But they never stood trial, and many believed that they would never be brought to justice.
Over the last 20 years, Monsanto has come under fire for posing as an agribusiness, when in truth, they only peddle herbicide. True, they do own the patent for a specific type of GMO. But it was only created to be resistant to Roundup. This made it possible for Monsanto to corner the market. They have also been known to privatize massive water sources, cutting whole populations off from fresh water.
Their crimes are manifold.
Well, as white whales go, this chemical giant is formidable indeed. But in the court of public opinion, this $290 million blow might be too much for even the mighty Monsanto to recover from. Unlike vaccine manufacturers, Monsanto isn’t protected by any laws forbidding people who have been made sick by their products to sue for damages. And alas, that is exactly what has happened.
The evidence was strong, and it convinced the jury that Monsanto had in fact willfully and maliciously covered up scientific evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup causes cancer.
For over 40 years, they have been selling Roundup to farmers knowing that it is poison. It is designed to kill naturally occurring plants and to leave certain genetically modified plants unharmed. In addition to the harm they have done to the health of millions, Monsanto’s products have also put untold numbers of farmers out of business who could not afford or did not wish to grow Monsanto’s Roundup-resistant seeds.
Many of those who did buy the Monsanto GMO plants did so only because they could not afford to refuse. Farmers have known for some time that not buying Monsanto plants would mean empty fields- especially if the neighboring farms were using Roundup.
The trial took place in San Francisco. There, a jury concluded that Monsanto was negligent in its use of the Roundup which contains the known cancer-causing agent, glyphosate.
The case held up as exhibit one, concerned the Stage IV Hodgkin’s Disease suffered by Mr. Dewayne Johnson. He testified to having sprayed Roundup between 20 and 30 times every year at a public school ground. Two times, according to his testimony, he was doused by the poison as a result of equipment malfunction. His condition is terminal.
San Francisco CBS news reported, “Johnson’s cancer has caused him to develop lesions over 80 percent of his body. He spoke in court about how the lesions tore into his self-confidence, embarrassed his children, and kept him from going out in public.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the founder of the World Mercury Project, was quoted as saying, “This jury found Monsanto acted with malice and oppression because they knew what they were doing was wrong and doing it with reckless disregard for human life. This should send a strong message to the boardroom of Monsanto.”
It may indeed, do just that. But it’s worth noting that for the enormous global GMO manufacturer, $290 million is not a death blow. If nothing else, this ruling will bring more awareness to the crimes of this company. Of course, the mainstream media will not be overly excited about pushing this news. It will take people sharing this story with as far and wide as they can for the news to really spread.
With luck, this will be one of the final nails in Monsanto’s coffin.
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