(Natural News) Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has filed the first of what he termed “several thousand” lawsuits against agri-giant Monsanto, alleging that its widely-used herbicide Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Jurors in San Francisco heard hours of scientific data about the chemical’s link to the disease, which has a high survival rate after five years, but which can cause others to become terminally ill.
Kennedy, who is also the chairman of the World Mercury Project, said in a recent interview with Del Bigtree, host of The HighWire show, said gardeners, agricultural workers, farmers and others who are exposed regularly to Roundup are most at risk.
The first case involves Dwayne “Lee” Johnson, a school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 just two years after using “Ranger Pro,” a Monsanto product that contains the same chemicals as Roundup. His attorney, R. Brent Wisner, told jurors that the agri-business king knew about several studies identifying the safety risks associated with the products – which have been on the market for some 40 years – but did nothing to mitigate them.
“This case is really about choice,” Wisner said, as reported by Law.com. “It’s about the right of every single person in this room to make a choice about what chemicals they expose themselves, their family and their children to. And really, nobody has the right to take that choice away from us simply because they would deprive us of information we need to make that choice.”
In the interview, Kennedy said studies now show unquestionably that Roundup causes the disease. (Related: Monsanto’s Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Human and Animal Health.)
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But George Lombardi, an attorney for Monsanto, pushed back against those claims, stating that the scientific evidence doesn’t substantiate them.
“The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly that glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” he told jurors in the San Francisco Superior Court.
Monsanto faces about 4,000 cases involving Roundup.
The data shows Monsanto liability
As for the evidence, Natural News reported in October 2015 that the World Health Organization, following its own study, noted that Roundup was a probable cause of cancer in humans – but that Monsanto had been regularly covering up the evidence:
An independent research scientist by the name of Anthony Samsel procured some 15,000 pages worth of documents from Monsanto covering the full gamut of research on Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the information contained in those pages isn’t pretty. In essence, Monsanto has known full well for nearly 40 years that Roundup and glyphosate are linked to organ damage and cancer, and yet this information was withheld from public purview as “proprietary trade secrets.”
“Monsanto misrepresented the data,” the scientist said, adding that Monsanto “deliberately covered up data to bring the product [glyphosate] to market.”
Specifically, Samsel was able to demonstrate that the agri-chemical behemoth manipulated and corrupted animal studies by using animals that were already sick with cancer and in organ failure as controls. By virtue of that misrepresentation, other animals exposed to the chemical did not appear to be any more afflicted than control animals because all of them wound up getting sick.
In October 2012, Natural News also reported on a peer-reviewed study that showed routine exposure to “safe” levels of Monsanto’s GMO corn and Roundup was linked directly to cancerous tumors.
During his presentation to jurors, Wisner, Johnson’s attorney, said that studies on mice and rats found higher occurrences of tumors and that an expert employed by Monsanto even found evidence of such a link. He also pointed to the 2015 WHO study classifying glyphosate as a potential carcinogen.
While it may not be clear yet what the outcome of this trial will be, one thing appears to be more and more clear: Monsanto isn’t getting off the hook anytime soon.
Read more about Monsanto’s dangerous products at Monsanto.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.