Monsanto Loses Landmark Cancer Lawsuit and $289 Million in Damages

Lawsuits seem to be a way of life for chemical giant Monsanto, but in a groundbreaking David vs. Goliath case, terminally ill 46-year old Dewayne Lee Johnson sued Monsanto, now a unit of Bayer AG, and was just awarded $289 Million. Previous lawsuits attempted to link the company’s flagship herbicide RoundUp to cancer, but in this latest battle Johnson alleged that, in addition to the product causing his cancer, the company was also involved in a decades-long coverup over the product’s safety.

In the closing arguments for the case, one of Johnson’s lawyers, Brett Wisner declared: “Today is their day of reckoning…This is the day Monsanto is finally held accountable. And, this is the beginning of that day.”

Wisner is likely referring, not only to the company’s loss in which the jury awarded $289 million to the plaintiff, he may also be referencing the many other lawsuits the company will now face as a result of the jury’s decision in favor of Johnson. After its deliberations, the jury found a sufficient linking glyphosate—RoundUp’s primary ingredient—to cancer, as well as satisfactory evidence that Monsanto knew of the link between its product and cancer but still participated in a lengthy coverup.

Prior to and independent of the lawsuit, research scientist, Anthony Samsel, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, uncovered documents suggesting Monsanto was aware that its product had been linked to cancers of the adrenal glands, bladder, brain, heart, lungs, lymphatic system, pituitary gland, prostate, salivary glands, skin and thyroid.

Glyphosate has been linked in scientific studies to non-Hodkin’s lymphoma—cancer of the lymphatic system—the same kind of cancer Dewayne Lee Johnson is currently suffering from, as well as genetic damage to humans. Additionally, it has also been linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, infertility, miscarriages, birth defects, chronic kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease and hypothyroidism.

Established as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015—a decision its International Agency for Research of Cancer reached after an expansive review of approximately 1000 studies, Monsanto’s representatives continue to claim that the product is safe. Scott Partridge, Vice-President of Global Strategy at Monsanto said “there is no science and there is no medicine that supports the plaintiff’s position.” While he undoubtedly lacks the scientific background to make such a declaration, clearly the jury didn’t agree with his seemingly unfounded opinion when they awarded Johnson the victory.

Sadly, Johnson has been given only months to live. In addition to his terminal non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis, he sustained lesions on over 80 percent of his body, although he routinely wore protective clothing when he sprayed RoundUp. As a groundskeeper at Venicia Unified School District, he sprayed 150 gallons of RoundUp between 20 and 30 times a year, for multiple years.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a complex network of glands, nodes and tubes throughout the body that work together to filter waste products from the tissues of the body.

Because of the allegations that Monsanto covered up a possible cancer link to its product along with the lawsuit’s verdict, the company should be the subject of an independent investigation and possible criminal charges. Additionally, all glyphosate-based products should be banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, who originally banned the chemical over 30 years ago but then mysteriously reversed its decision.

Glyphosate has been found in many common foods, according to a study conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The agency’s own research indicated that almost one-third of all foods tested contain the potential carcinogen, glyphosate. Other research conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cited in the agency’s own  in internal emails suggests that the agency has been conducting tests on the amount of glyphosate on common foods and finding excessively high amounts. According to their emails, the pesticide is so rampant that broccoli is the only food it has found without the carcinogen.

While toxic chemicals like glyphosate are unacceptably common, we should never accept the possible widespread poisoning of people as allowable. Monsanto needs to be held accountable for their potentially criminal actions and the Environmental Protection Agency should be the subject of an independent investigation for their possible role in contributing to the alleged cover-up. Glyphosate-based products need to be eliminated from the marketplace and banned altogether before more people suffer the way Johnson has.  Retailers like Home Depot, Rona, Lowe’s and others need to immediately stop selling the product. No one should be profiting from any product that may be causing widespread cancer diagnoses and deaths.

But as for Monsanto and now Bayer AG who recently acquired the company, today truly is just the beginning of their “day of reckoning.” Regardless of how much Monsanto declares its own innocence and the alleged safety of their product, a jury just slammed the company with its court verdict. As for Dewayne Lee Johnson, he gets my vote for “Man of the Year” for taking the final moments of his life to fight for justice and safety for future generations.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your LifeFollow her work.

45 comments

Sara S
Sara S5 months ago

Let's hope Monsanto loses more lawsuits.

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Chad A
Chad A5 months ago

Thank you!

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Bill A
Bill Arthur6 months ago

Julie D are you referring to the monsters who continue to scare people with unsubstantiated claims of dangers that do not exist? Here is an article for you to read https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/weed-killer-your-cereal-maybe-don-t-panic-n901586

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Julie D
Julie D6 months ago

Yay! Finally a win against these monsters!

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur6 months ago

As long as we are looking into facts and not worrying about the scare mongers you might like to read this https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/weed-killer-your-cereal-maybe-don-t-panic-n901586

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur6 months ago

Clare O'Beara; there is no evidence that any glyphosate which happened to be in animal feed bio-accumulates or is dangerous in any other way so you can feel safe and ignore the scare mongers.
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html Actual facts and information will set you free.

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur6 months ago

Mona M; yes lets put some truth behind this. Suggest you all read this for some truth instead of chasing after the fear mongers.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreykabat/2018/08/17/with-defenders-like-these-the-international-agency-for-research-on-cancer-hardly-needs-enemies/#29da6e42139d

The truth is out there if you just allow yourselves to see it.

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Clare O
Clare O6 months ago

Not alone is the pesticide on your food, it is on crops that are fed to animals, so we will accumulate higher doses by eating meat as well.

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Clare O
Clare O6 months ago

like the firms that said tobacco was not harmful

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Clare O
Clare O6 months ago

very good news to win

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