The next asbestos? What do the Monsanto trials mean for the future of Roundup

Protest march against Monsanto Co in Paris, France, May 23, 2015.Monsanto is facing thousands of lawsuits claiming its product Roundup causes cancer.

It’s been touted as the next asbestos and compared to the cover-ups by big tobacco companies last century, but agribusiness giant Monsanto insists Roundup doesn’t cause cancer.

Three US juries disagree, and the company is facing 13,400 plaintiffs who claim the most commonly used herbicide in the world is the reason they have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

It’s what’s called a mass tort litigation, with lawsuits involving multiple plaintiffs against one defendant, in this case Monsanto, and involves multiple trials in different jurisdictions.

Unlike a class action, injuries suffered by the plaintiffs in mass torts aren’t always the same; they are usually similar but can be wider ranging and individualised.

In the US, mass torts against pharmaceutical companies are the most common, but other well-known mass torts include cases like asbestos.

Key points:
  • Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in the world and its active ingredient is glyphosate
  • Agribusiness giant Monsanto has lost three trials in the US over links between cancer and glyphosate
  • It’s been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in damages to four cancer patients, with thousands more plaintiffs awaiting trial

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Monsanto hit with staggering $2 billion verdict in Roundup cancer suit

Image result for Monsanto Hit Again! $2 Billion Verdict For Couple Diagnosed With Cancer Caused By RoundupThis Jan. 26, 2017, file photo shows containers of Roundup, a weed killer made by Monsanto, on a shelf at a hardware store in Los Angeles.Photo: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

An Oakland jury awarded a staggering $2 billion-plus in damages Monday to a Bay Area couple who both came down with cancer after spraying Monsanto Co.’s widely used Roundup weed killer on their properties for more than 30 years.

It’s the third such verdict against Monsanto, all in Bay Area lawsuits, and by far the largest judgment against the company.

Alva Pilliod, 76, of Livermore was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, and his wife, Alberta Pilliod, 74, was diagnosed in 2015. They had used Roundup to kill weeds on the grounds of three properties they owned in the area, applying it once a week for nine months out of the year. Their lawyer estimated they sprayed 1,500 gallons of the herbicide over three decades. SOURCE

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Monsanto Takes Shot at Reversing $80M Federal Roundup Verdict

Baltimore files lawsuit demanding Monsanto pay to clean up PCB chemicals in city waterways

Image result for Baltimore files lawsuit demanding Monsanto pay to clean up PCB chemicals in city waterways

Baltimore is asking a federal judge to force agriculture chemical company Monsanto to pay for cleanup of environmental toxins known as PCBs, following more than a dozen mostly West Coast cities and states that have filed similar lawsuits in recent years.

The lawsuit announced Tuesday doesn’t specify damages, but City Solicitor Andre Davis accused the company and two former divisions it sold off of causing tens of millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit says the contamination has caused monetary damages to be determined at trial.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, a type of man-made chemicals used widely in paints, inks, lubricants and electrical equipment until they were banned in 1979, have been linked to cancers and harm to immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems in humans and animals. MORE

Voting down the Glypho-Slate

How  dedicated group of community members fought back against glyphosate use in their community — and won!

San Lorenzo River

As a retired teacher and organic gardener in Ben Lomond, California, he decided to join the Environmental Committee for the local San Lorenzo Valley Water District. The small district serves 7,900 connections with mostly surface water.

Six months into the appointment things were going well. Then, Rick Moran began reading through a proposal titled “French Broom Management Plan for the Olympia Watershed.” He realized that the Water District had used, and was going to again use, the controversial herbicide glyphosate in a “cut and dab” process to kill about 19,000 invasive broom plants. Worse yet, the herbicide would be used near two well heads. MORE