August 10, 2018, a jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Dewayne Johnson in a truly historic case against Monsanto (now owned by Bayer AG). Johnson — the first of several thousand pending legal cases — claimed Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup caused his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Forty-six-year-old Johnson sprayed about 150 gallons of Roundup 20 to 40 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia school district in California, from 2012 through late 2015. His lawsuit, filed in 2016 after he became too ill to work, accused Monsanto of hiding the health hazards of Roundup.
According to the ruling, Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity of this pernicious weed killer. The jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to Johnson. A judge upheld the guilty verdict, but reduced the damages to $78 million. Bayer/Monsanto has filed an appeal.
Jury Decision: Roundup ‘Guilty’ of Causing Cancer in Second Trial
March 19, 2019, a U.S. jury ruled Roundup was a substantial causative factor in the cancer of a second plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman. In the second liability phase of the trial, jurors will decide whether Bayer/Monsanto acted with negligence and should pay damages.
Hardeman’s attorney, Jennifer Moore, said they were “very pleased that the jury unanimously held that the Roundup caused the Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Immediately, Bayer stock plummeted by 12.5 percent, the largest intraday loss in 16 years, according to Reuters, wiping out a cool $9.1 billion of the company’s value in one fell swoop.
Since August 2018, Bayer’s shares have fallen by more than a third, wiping out about $28.2 billion of the company’s market value. And, according to Financial Times, “As they contemplate the ever-growing list of glyphosate cases pending in U.S. courts — 11,200 at the latest count — investors have every reason to feel glum.”
The second phase of the trial will determine whether the jury finds Bayer/Monsanto responsible for damages. While Bayer believes the jury in this case will find the company acted appropriately and therefore not liable for damages, chances are Hardeman’s jury will be as convinced and outraged by the evidence as Johnson’s was.
In Johnson’s case, the evidence presented included email correspondence and corporate documents that created a comprehensive narrative of corporate malfeasance and collusion with U.S. regulatory agencies.
You can review many of these “Monsanto Papers” on the U.S. Right to Know website. Key documents in the Hardeman case are also available there. Some of the evidence against Monsanto is also summarized in “Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science” — a minority staff report dated February 2018, prepared for U.S. House members of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
In “The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the Scientific Well,” a paper published in The International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, June 2018, Leemon McHenry describes the importance of this cache of documents:
“The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products …
The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.”
Scientific Evidence Against Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Keeps Growing
Considering the evidence mounting against Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides, I think the chemical’s days are numbered. As previously discussed in many articles, glyphosate and glyphosate-based weed killer formulations have in recent years been linked to a wide variety of human health consequences, including:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Impairing your body’s ability to produce fully functioning proteins
- Inhibiting the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria)
- Interfering with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes, required for activation of vitamin D and the creation of nitric oxide
- Chelating important minerals
- Disrupting sulfate synthesis and transport
- Interfering with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, resulting in folate and neurotransmitter shortages
- Disrupting your microbiome by acting as an antibiotic
- Impairing methylation pathways
- Inhibiting pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism
- Contributing to chronic kidney disease by facilitating the transport of heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium into the kidneys
Impairing detoxification, as your body can substitute the glycine molecule in glyphosate for the amino acid glycine. Glycine is used up in the detoxification process. As a result of glyphosate toxicity, many of us may not have enough glycine for efficient detoxification
Most recently, research led by Ondine von Ehrenstein, associate professor in the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, shows women exposed to commonly used pesticides during pregnancy have a higher risk of having a child diagnosed with autism. The 11 pesticides included in this study were:
- Methyl bromide
As reported by Time:
“Overall, the study included nearly 38,000 people, with 2,961 cases of autism. The scientists found that women who were pregnant and who lived within a 2,000-meter radius of a highly-sprayed area were anywhere from 10 percent to 16 percent more likely to have children diagnosed with autism than women who lived in places farther away from sprayed areas …
When they looked at diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder that also came with intellectual disabilities, they found on average 30 percent higher rates among children who were exposed to the pesticides while in utero. Exposure in the first year of life increased the risk of autism by up to 50 percent compared to those not exposed to certain pesticides.”
Glyphosate Harms Wildlife, Scientists Warn
In related news, researchers also warn glyphosate-based herbicides may be harming wildlife and insects at the bottom of the food chain. As reported by Environmental Health News:
“Long thought to be relatively benign to nontarget plants and animals, evidence is growing that glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, may impact the metabolism, growth and reproduction of aquatic creatures and could be altering the essential gut bacteria of animals such as bees.”
One such study, published last year, found glyphosate-based formulations “affected normal cellular respiration and lipid metabolism” in Folsomia candida, a species of springtail found in soil, “inducing oxidative stress and leading to impairment in biological life cycle mechanisms such as molting and reproduction.”
Here, the adjuvant surfactant polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA) was identified as the primary culprit, not isolated glyphosate. According to the authors, this points “the toxicity of the formulated product to the co-formulant instead of the active ingredient, glyphosate.”
Other studies have confirmed the glyphosate-based formulations tend to be more toxic than glyphosate in isolation. Even otherwise inert ingredients can contribute to toxicity. As noted in a 2014 report by the Institute of Science in Society:
“The major adjuvant POEA in glyphosate Roundup formulations is by far the most cytotoxic for human cells, ahead of glyphosate and its metabolite. It also amplifies the toxic effects of glyphosate …
It is very likely that the primary target of Roundup, especially its POEA surfactant, is the mitochondria, which play a key role in the development of sperm cells and sperm motility. In addition, male infertility could arise from ROS damages to mitochondrial DNA.”
That said, glyphosate alone has also been linked to a variety of harm in animals, including water fleas, mosquitoes, honeybees, mussels and crayfish. Glyphosate has also been identified as a driver of antibiotic resistance.
Substantial Amounts of Glyphosate Found in Food
Tests have also revealed that if you’re eating nonorganic foods, especially processed food, then you’re consuming glyphosate on a regular basis. Farmers apply nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate to farm crops each year, worldwide.39 Approximately 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland alone.
In 2016, 70 percent of Americans had detectable levels of glyphosate in their system, and between 1993 and 2016, the glyphosate levels in people’s bodies increased by 1,208 percent. A recent investigation by journalist Carey Gillam revealed Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including granola and crackers.
The Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs) has also conducted glyphosate testing, finding the chemical in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Other foods typically contaminated with glyphosate include grains, legumes, beans, orange juice, and wine.
HRI’s testing also reveals people who eat oats on a regular basis have twice as much glyphosate in their system as people who don’t (likely because oats are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest). Meanwhile, people who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic.
How to Test Your Glyphosate Level and Eliminate It From Your System
Considering the possible dangers of glyphosate, it would make sense to minimize your exposure, and if you have high levels already, to take steps to detoxify it. HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine, and if you have elevated levels, you can drive out the glyphosate by taking an inexpensive glycine supplement.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt recommends taking 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of glycine powder twice a day for a few weeks and then lowering the dose to one-fourth teaspoon (1 gram) twice a day. This forces the glyphosate out of your system, allowing it to be eliminated through your urine.
*Article originally appeared at Mercola. Reposted with permission.