Last week, a California state court handed down a $289-million verdict against Monsanto, the St. Louis-based agribusiness titan. The massive jury award to plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, comes after Johnson and his attorneys argued successfully that his repeated on-the-job use of Monsanto pesticides caused him to develop a terminal case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Monsanto, now part of Bayer after a recent merger, has vowed to appeal the ruling. "Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews—and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and regulatory authorities around the world—support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer," said Monsanto vice president Scott Partridge in a statement issued after last week's ruling that also expressed sympathy for Johnson.
The mountains of studies Partridge cites, writes Baylen Linnekin, place the scientific consensus about the lack of a link between glyphosate and cancer on par with the vast evidence demonstrating the safety of GMOs generally and with the overwhelming consensus that manmade factors cause climate change.
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