JUDGE CLEARS WAY FOR LAWSUITS AGAINST MON(STER)SANTO

If you've been following the GMO saga over the years, then you'll be interested in this story shared by Mr. B, for a U.S. District Judge, Vince Chhabria has cleared the way for hundreds of lawsuits against the agribusiness giant, Mon(ster)santo to proceed:

Lawsuits alleging Roundup caused cancer can move forward

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - can cause the disease seemed "rather weak." Still, the opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were not "junk science" that should be excluded from a trial, the judge ruled.

The lawsuits say agrochemical giant Monsanto, which makes Roundup, long knew about the cancer risk but failed to warn people. The ruling allows the claims to move forward, though the judge warned it could be a "daunting challenge" to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony that glyphosate was responsible for individual cancer diagnoses.

Many government regulators have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate. Monsanto has vehemently denied such a connection, saying hundreds of studies have established that the chemical is safe.

The company is facing hundreds of lawsuits in state and federal courts that claim otherwise. Chhabria is presiding over more than 400 of them.

One has to question whether this is good news, or bad news, for those concerned about the safety of GMOs, and for those concerned about the "practice" of Mon(ster)santo, with a long track record of harsh practice detailed by a number of researchers (see, for example, F. William Engdalh's study, Seeds of Destruction, or Marie-Monique Robin's The World According to Monsanto). For those concerned about the "practice" itself, the news is perhaps good news. But the judge, in clearing the way for the lawsuits to proceed, has already apparently stacked the deck, calling some plaintiff expert witnesses "shaky" and disallowing others.

But I suspect that in the long term, it is good news, and for a very important reason: Mon(ster)santo, as most regular readers here are aware, was recently bought - for cash! - by the German chemicals giant Bayer, forming what I have nicknamed "I.G. Farbensanto." This now means that Bayer will now foot the bill for any potential decisions against it, and the way may be open for much more serious international legal actions. India, for example, whose farmers were also subjected to the typical agribusiness tactics employed by GMO seed companies, has already seen lawsuits, and with the way now clear for American lawsuits, more lawsuits will probably occur in India.

Then there's Europe, where the debate on GMOs has been the other "dirty issue" confronting the Eurocrats in Brussels. Europe is significant, for many of the independent studies on GMOs, not just with respect to the alleged carcinogenic properties of glyphosate, but also more disturbing studies indicating species-crossing of GMO genes, have been conducted there, from France, the UK, to Denmark.

And then there's Africa, where some countries have struggled against the influx of GMOs and the strong-arm tactics of the agribusiness giants. Rest assured, they will follow the cases with interest, and perhaps bring their own suits. And last week I blogged about the growing problem of GMO modified grass that has escaped into the open and is now causing endless problems for Oregon farmers.

So regardless of the outcome of these lawsuits, the bad news for I.G. Farbensanto is, expect more (and you may want to rethink that purchase... perhaps you need to look for a new buyer for your Mon(ster)santo subsidiary before the stocks tumble and the juries come back). The "optics" won't look too good once those African nations start filing their own lawsuits. And big pharma, you might want to watch the situation closely as well, especially with the recent news coming out about the safety of your products... Oh, wait, I forgot, Bayer is big pharma...

See you on the flip side...

13 thoughts on “JUDGE CLEARS WAY FOR LAWSUITS AGAINST MON(STER)SANTO”

  1. Everybody has their focus on glyphosate, a mixed bag toxin for sure; probably dangerous for long term exposure. But Roundup is apparently hundreds of times more toxic with the “inactive ingredients”, never disclosed. It is there where their real Achilles’ heel breaks ground.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      F. William Engdahl has extensively about that fact. WITH the other ingredients the final product should be then classified as a banned warfare chemical agent. It’s that bad. And, of course they know it. It was designed to become that.

  2. ‘U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate – can cause the disease seemed “rather weak.”
    This has turned into a bit of an essay, but the problem in these situations is surely that it’s a rigged game/that the legal system is unsuitable for purpose in a scenario like this.
    We’ve seen so many potentially dangerous technologies (mobile phones and masts, vaccines, food ingredients, mercury in products, pesticides and other farm chemicals, fluoride in water – the list is endless and heaven knows what the agencies and military are up to under cover of secrecy/spurious claims of it being for our own good) go straight into worldwide use (when perhaps local trials or outright prohibition would be much wiser) because nobody can in advance ‘prove’ as the legal system requires the level of risk which they present.
    Yet the reality is that most technologies in their narrow and unbalanced focus on profit (as opposed to the greatest good) and the short term satisfaction of specific needs ignore the unintended and more holistic consequences they bring with them.
    While it’s important to resist as possible, the sort of structural change that’s needed will surely not follow from dutifully fighting case after case through such a system – it mostly just enriches legal types paid OTT rates to pedantically pursue linear arguments based on systems of ultimately sterile linear thought and the say-so of a hugely limited and ideologically blinded science.
    We need a correctly structured, independent and credible system of review of this sort of initiative which is truly able to take account of risks arising from ‘unknowns’ and ‘possibilities’. One which also ends the presumption of the right of all to commercialise anything the inventor/investor can sell.
    More to the point we have to develop the ability to collectively say ‘no’ in cases where the risks seem potentially significant but currently unknowable, instead of being stampeded blindly into every next big thing out of supposed economic need and the unbalanced ‘rights’ of investors – needs that don’t truly exist in that as societies we produce more than enough to all be very comfortable. (the problem is actually the manner in which the output/wealth generated by most is wasted on inappropriate spending and bled off and into the hands of largely non-productive elites)
    Potential risk based on common sense but expert assessment in other words must become able to block or manage as appropriate the roll out and widespread commercialisation of potentially dangerous new technologies or activities.
    It’s next to impossible to legally prove cause and effect at the macro/population/environmental/ecosystem level unless the consequences are immediate and very widespread, and more to the point obvious.
    Even at that the corporates using the current system manage to block and suppress inconvenient publicity and information.
    The implications are much bigger than we realise. Think even in respect of this matter of the ecological damage that results from everyday farming (which everybody regards as acceptable) when it and the populations it supports escalate to current levels.
    The turning of the bulk of the world’s land into monoculture/single plant prairies that eliminate almost all plant, insect and wildlife diversity is of itself a crisis, and that’s long before we add the effects of GMOs and agri-chemicals.
    The legal system as it stands (and that’s before considering questions of corporate influence and worse) requires so called ‘objective’ proof on matters which when they are in their early stages is simply not possible.
    How can a potentially dangerous technology be innocent until proven guilty? It’s a gross misapplication of the principle.
    The system as a result can at best end up reacting to what has already happened – closing the door after the horse has bolted and the (potentially catastrophic) damage is done.
    That’s no surprise – we run a legal system developed mostly to try cases against individuals accused of having committed tangible crimes already committed.
    What makes the law problematic in these situations (and highly ineffective at acting for the greater good rather than inadvertently protecting power interests such as the corporates) is that it (as science, academia, institutional religions, government etc) in the end defers to power, and is basically about charging heavily for imposing a set of consensus values and views amenable to the elites – as a means of defusing disputes which if allowed to develop would destabilise hierarchies and likely threaten their power.
    The result is a closed, self-perpetuating and sterile system incapable of responding effectively to new realities.
    Social hierarchies and the institutions they create seek to impose group think in order not to be de-stabilised, mostly via a bait and switch where they offer some mostly illusory benefit to the punter (eg ‘justice’, or social stability) while enriching themselves.
    The price of membership is that we buy into the group think.
    We hand our power to them out of fear, out of concern that many in our societies unless controlled will run amuck (maybe we should just look after them better?), and a deeply conditioned urge to above all else protect what we perceive to be our short term self-interest and not be expelled.
    Organisational (actually hierarchical) culture/group think is the result.
    The problem of course is that any alternative system has to be seen and to truly act with courage and integrity – genuinely out of compassion and wisdom, and for the greater good.
    It must break free of the above closed loop thinking.
    This sort of capability has so far been very thin on the ground.
    Another reason why we so badly need to awaken, to each take a right minded responsibility for ourselves and where the planet and our societies are headed??

    1. Good points Vajra. The legal system, while severely punishing individual perjury, is not currently equipped to handle the fake science produced by the the bought-and-paid-for corporate research machine.

    2. Michael the Unborn

      I greatly ‘enjoyed’ reading your commentary on the inherent flaws of the present system – ‘enjoyed’ in the sense that it simply made sense, without deferring to complex abstractions, no ranting, just exposition, and clearly delineating the problems without getting too emotionally intense.

      There is so much that is wrong & broken in the systems & subsystems which have become the norm in our civilisation -and unfortunately, there’s little that can be done to alter that, at this stage in our evolution. One thing which did keep coming back to me as I read your comments was that we, as humans, are clearly immensely adaptable, in that not only are we dealing with these big threats, but we deal with mysriad ‘little threats’ every day of our lives, in terms of the products we consume & the chemicals in our environment.

      Although doubtless a toxic environment in many, many respects, we must never give in to fatalism, because that will only exacerbate our susceptibility to the dangers our physical bodies & minds are exposed to each & every day. We must never lose sight of the reality of certain ‘powers’ of mind, in that we are able to greatly influence the ways our bodies react to stimuli, simply by adopting certain ‘postures’ of mind – this is why it is said that with faith the size of a mustard seed, a mountain can be moved.

      There are now many, many invaluable studies in the open literature regarding the psychosomatic abilities of mind, both for good & ill, and it is time that we start really feeding our psyche with stories of its inherent power & heroism to face down a cornucopia of otherwise hazardous threats.

      We need to look to theories such as the exceptional ‘Orch-OR’ model of consciousness (Penrose & Hameroff), the morphic resonance/ morphic field research of Rupert Sheldrake, and of course, Masuro Emoto’s studies of water & ice crystallography under the power of intention. These researches & more indicate the deep & enduring power of the human mind to overcome & to empower the physical form, and the wellness of the human who is experiencing reality from within the constraints (or opportunities?) of that form.

      In addition, and with great sincerity & import, I believe we should certainly pay heed to the serious researchers studying the realities of the life of the mind beyond the body, such as those who took part in the following seminar recently (the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies, at the Tom Tom founders festiival, 2018 – moderated by comedian John Cleese, of all people!) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RGizqsLumo These people are discussing some incredible incidences of our human reality, and into their work should be inserted the information arising from the three research topics I suggested above. Those three subjects clearly explain, I believve, many of the mysteries which are discussed but left unexplained in the Tom Tom seminar. Fascinating, and crucial for our ongoing development of a model of what humanity is, and is capable of.

      I believe we must turn this debate on its head – it’s not what ‘they’ can do to us with their greed & linear nonsense, it’s what we can become DESPITE what they do to us, the non-linear black swan events which can define the nexus of a civilisation..

      Cheers,

      Michael.

      1. Hi guys, sorry – I missed your responses. The posts seem out of sequence..
        For sure the whole deal (when we view it at the level of the gazillion problems which infest our societies) is rather daunting.
        Luckily it seems that solutions to problems like these arrive in much more spontaneous ways than that. Think of the changes that transformed Eastern Europe, they were not the result of projects or programmes. Not even of power or force.
        The mass consciousness just somehow hit critical mass, people realised they wanted change. The various balls started rolling and were unstoppable.
        The critical ingredient that’s missing I guess in our systems (and if anything of the sort I described can ever hope to function effectively) is genuine self responsibility and integrity.
        A willingness in enough people to acknowledge/see what’s truly in front of them, then to act with even basic care and wisdom.
        All of these problems continue because we blindly continue to give our power/belief/support to institutions which as they function are simply are not fit for purpose.
        Those running and working for them turn a blind eye while rationalising that they need the money, and have no option. With enough time in blinkers they eventually lose conscious awareness of thee issues – if in fact they saw them in the first place.
        There’s no dount a few at the top subconsciously or perhaps even consciously steering matters in directions that are not good for the planet or its inhabitants too.
        It sounds twee, but the only thing that can save us is that there is sufficient awakening in enough people that they allow awareness of the problems into their consciousness, then quietly find ways to withdraw their support from what doesn’t work.
        When this happens we’ll see almost instant transformations.
        I’m very optimistic.
        All it requires is for awareness to pass a critical tipping point, and we’re getting there. Then suddenly the new way of seeing will be the norm and all the jobsworths will be going around behaving as though they knew what was wrong all along….. : )
        It’s not rocket science, only common sense – and that as matters stand we’ve mostly conditioned ourselves to think in terms of getting ahead in hierarchies/staying on-side with power instead of what’s truly in our collective interest…

  3. Germans maybe a lot of things. Stupid, is not one of them. So why did they buy Monsanto? When they bought it, this lawsuit problem was already around the corner and therefore visible.

    I suppose corporations don’t worry nor work with borders. Hubris in cementing a IG Farbensanto repeat and not expecting a “gruesome” war to fight over it! Seems, a walk in the park, is what those grose corporations expect and or are used too.

  4. . . . There’s something of a pattern with these chemical producers. . . It’s often been what they didn’t say that has done the damage and had unexpected consequences on the consumers of their products. . . WATER. . . One needs a lot of fresh water to irrigate, to wash away, to clean up after use, and it ought not be concentrating within the well one gets their drinking water. . .

    . . . It’s certain that there are still quite a few microbiologists and other specialists not yet in the monster’s round-up sights. . . What’s the phrase, “Make sure you’re right, then go ahead.” ~ Davy Crocket

  5. marcos toledo

    The escape of the grass as well as other contaminations were planned from the start. As for Roundup think of it as a biological weapon to be used against us civilians. Just culling the livestock-slaves.

  6. Good on one side; possibly not good on the other. I am not familiar with law as applied to corporations. On the human side, if one is tried in court for an infraction (say, murder), if the defendant is found innocent, they may not be tried for that crime, again. Is this true for law as applied to corporations? If so, a quick trial presided-over by a ‘sympathetic’ judge could buy Monsanto/Bayer a permanent pass…

  7. Robert Barricklow

    Rather weak. Daunting challenge. Shaky. Disallowing others.
    Sound like a Corporate Tribunal; or, in euphemism double speak of the 21st Century – a corporate public partnership decision rubber stamped by a bureaucratic corporate officer, er.., judge..

    Private power once again reigns over public power.

    1. Robert Barricklow

      The cost of doing business]fine$] is passed onto the public.
      The private side of the ledger keeps the profit$.
      The public side of the ledger pays the all cost of doing busine$$.

      1. Robert Barricklow

        [1st explanation didn’t post. Reworded one did].
        [Anytime one doesn’t post; my imagination runs wild.]

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