Environmentalists throughout the world owe an enormous debt of gratitude to political prisoner Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of Wikileaks — and most of them don’t know it. It wasn’t only secret recordings pertaining to war and crimes-against-humanity that Wikileaks published, based on the heroic work of Chelsea Manning who downloaded thousands of secret US military files. A slew of cables Assange published revealed massive U.S. government attempts on behalf of Monsanto to coerce governments to allow foreign corporate land ownership, and with it genetically engineered agriculture throughout the world
Monsanto has been voted the evilest corporation in the world several times over. Yet, we don’t hear anything about them now. What happened? Did they complete the evil? Did they retire after all their evil wrapped up? No, not so much. Monsanto was one of the most hated companies in the Americas. There were protests just a few years ago, attracting hundreds of thousands into the streets – which is not easy to do. The most shocking thing was that at Monsanto’s lowest point, even the mainstream media started revealing the truth. Here’s from Reuters ten years ago: Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds and the resulting crops have damaged public and environmental health and destroyed traditional farming communities all over the world.
In court documents filed on 9 December in Hawaii, Monsanto agreed to plead guilty to 30 environmental crimes related to the use of a pesticide on corn fields in Hawaii, and the company further agreed to plead guilty to two other charges related to the storage of a banned pesticide that were the subject of a 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). Monsanto admitted in a plea agreement that it committed 30 misdemeanor crimes related to the use of a glufosinate ammonium-based herbicide product sold under the brand name Forfeit 280. After using the product in 2020 on corn fields in Oahu, Hawaii, Monsanto allowed workers to enter the fields during a six-day “restricted-entry interval” (REI) after the product was applied.
A federal appeals court has upheld a $25 million verdict against the maker of Roundup, a weed killer that thousands of litigants blame for causing their cancers. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Monsanto Co., the manufacturer of the herbicide, ruling 2-1 that $20 million in punitive damages, “while close to the outer limits,” was constitutional.
More than 90 law firms and more than 160 lawyers have notified a federal court judge overseeing U.S. Roundup litigation that they oppose Monsanto owner Bayer AG’s $2 billion plan to settle future claims the company expects to be brought by people diagnosed with cancer they blame on use of Monsanto’s herbicide products. In recent days, nine separate objections to the plan and four amicus briefs have been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, letting Judge Vince Chhabria know the extent of opposition to the proposed class settlement. Chhabria has been overseeing thousands of Roundup cancer lawsuits in what is called ‘multidistrict litigation’ (MDL). On Monday, the National Trial Lawyers (NTL) joined in the opposition on behalf of its 14,000 members. The group said in their filing with the court that they agree with the opposition that “the proposed settlement seriously endangers access to justice for millions of people in the proposed class, would prevent Monsanto’s victims from holding it accountable, and would reward Monsanto in numerous respects.”
If a company hides information that suggests its top money-making product is unsafe, keeps adverse findings from regulators, employs ghostwriters to gin up favorable scientific studies and media coverage, funds front groups in an attempt to discredit critics, fails to provide warnings to consumers, and, according to jurors who reviewed a mountain of evidence, is responsible for serious illnesses and death, how would you hold the people responsible to account? If the company were Monsanto, you couldn’t. Monsanto — once one of the marquee corporate names in St. Louis — is now gone, gobbled up in 2018 for a whopping $63 billion. Bayer AG paid a premium and Monsanto shareholders made a bundle, just as lawsuits alleging a link between Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were beginning to heat up.
After weeks of rumors, President-elect Joe Biden confirmed last week that he has picked Tom Vilsack as his secretary of agriculture. Vilsack previously held the position under the Obama administration, from 2009 to 2017. This decision has disappointed many progressive Democrats who were hoping Biden’s cabinet picks would include a more diverse coalition and signal a push to the left. Vilsack, on the contrary, is quite literally more of the same: a wealthy white man and establishment Democrat with countless corporate interests and an atrocious record on climate change and civil rights. We should not be surprised by this decision, though.
Bayer-Monsanto have announced that the company will make a total payment of $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion (€9.1 billion to €9.8 billion) to settle the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Roundup litigation in the U.S.. Roundup is the most sold glyphosate-based herbicide in the world. The settlement covers approximately 75% of the current Roundup litigation involving approximately 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall. Bayer also settled Wednesday the recent dicamba drift litigation for payment of up to $400 million and a portion of the PCB water litigation exposure for payment of approximately $820 million. Bayer-Monsanto will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.
The Bayer AG annual shareholders’ meeting got underway Tuesday in Germany, drawing the attention of not only investors and analysts but also activists, lawyers and cancer patients who want to see Bayer make amends for alleged misdeeds by Monsanto, which Bayer bought two years ago. The meeting was to be an in-person event in Bonn, Germany but due to fears about large gatherings that could spread the Covid-19 virus, Bayer instead is hosting a video webcast of the meeting. On Monday the company announced a “good start to 2020,” reporting higher sales and profits through all divisions driven in part by strong demand within its Consumer Health division related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The shareholders’ meeting comes as Bayer is facing legal claims in the United States brought by roughly 52,500 plaintiffs alleging that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
Millions of Nigerians are urging the Nigerian government to reject Monsanto’s attempts to introduce genetically modified (GMO) cotton and maize into the country's food and farming systems. One-hundred organizations representing more than 5 million Nigerians, including farmers, faith-based organisations, civil society groups, students and local community groups, have submitted a joint objection to the country's National Biosafety Management Agency (NABMA) expressing serious concerns about human health and environmental risks of genetically altered crops. The groups' petition follows Monsanto Agricultural Nigeria Limited's own application to NAMBA that seeks to release GMO cotton (Bt cotton, event MON 15985) into the city of Zaria as well as surrounding towns.
Monsanto has settled claims in a proposed class action alleging that it falsely advertised that the active ingredient in Roundup Weed & Grass Killer only affects plants with a $39.5 million deal that includes changing the labels on its products, Law360 reported Saturday. The proposed class, led by named plaintiff Lisa Jones, asked a Missouri federal court on Monday to approve the deal, saying the fund, none of which will revert to Monsanto if money is left over, represents a fair settlement that will benefit not only the plaintiffs in this case, but also the general public by changing the products’ labels. In the February 2019 suit, Jones says Monsanto falsely claimed through its labeling that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme that is only found in plants and would therefore not affect people or pets. According to the suit, that enzyme is in fact found in people and pets and is critical to maintaining the immune system, digestion and brain function.
It seems forever that we’ve been trying to get Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller off the market, and out of our food. It’s a battle that’s had more than its share of highs and lows. Where are we today? Fighting a new company—Bayer now owns Monsanto.
A jury on Saturday awarded US$ 250 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for over 140 other farmers suing the chemical’s makers – Bayer (Monsanto) and BASF. The punitive damages awarded to farmer Bill Bader, of Campbell, came a day after the jury awarded him $15 million in actual damages...
It’s been nearly five years since international cancer scientists classified a popular weed-killing chemical as probably carcinogenic, news that triggered an explosion of lawsuits brought by cancer patients who blame the former chemical maker Monsanto Co. for their suffering. Tens of thousands of U.S. plaintiffs – some lawyers involved in the litigation say over 100,000 – claim Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and other glyphosate-based weed killers caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma...
Anticipation is building around the belief that there could soon be an announcement of at least a partial settlement of U.S. lawsuits pitting thousands of U.S. cancer patients against Monsanto Co. over allegations the company hid the health risks of its Roundup herbicides. Investors in Bayer AG, the German company that bought Monsanto in 2018, are keeping a close eye on the status of three trials currently still on the docket to get underway this month.