Market Watch has called this decision “another setback for Bayer, amid thousands of lawsuits targeting its herbicides” but we call it a victory, due in part to our colleague and friend, attorney Robert F Kennedy, Jr.

Way to go, Bobby.

On Tuesday, a jury in the first federal court trial of lawsuits by cancer victims against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, found that the dangerous herbicide was the cause of a Sonoma County man’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

“The six jurors deliberated for nearly four days after a two-week trial in San Francisco before agreeing unanimously that Edwin Hardeman, 70, had proven the herbicide was more likely than not a ‘substantial factor’ in causing the cancer with which he was diagnosed in 2015. Hardemen said he’d sprayed Roundup on his property for decades.”1

The jury returns today and will hear evidence about whether Monsanto is now legally responsible for Hardeman’s cancer and if so, determine the amount of damages he should receive.


This case is one of three “bellwether” trials now scheduled before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria. These trials are expected to establish guidelines for the settlements of nearly 760 cases against Monsanto from all over the country that have been transferred to his court (and more than 10,000 pending elsewhere):

“The first trial against the company took place in state court last summer in San Francisco, where a Superior Court jury awarded $289 million in damages to Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, 46, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma after years of spraying school grounds in Benicia with a concentrated brand of the same herbicide. A judge later reduced Johnson’s damages to $78.5 million. Monsanto is appealing.

Unlike Johnson, whose doctors have described his illness as terminal, Hardeman’s cancer is in remission. He testified that he sprayed Roundup for nearly 30 years to kill poison oak on his 56-acre tract in Forestville, often feeling the liquid on his hands or inhaling it.”1

A shame no one clued him in that this causes cancer. We’ve been writing about this for years.

In 2015, the herbicide’s active ingredient, glyphosate, was classified as a probable cause of cancer in humans by IARC (an arm of the World Health Organization). And California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment also lists it as “a chemical known to cause cancer.”1 However, the EPA claims glyphosate is safe so it is legal to use. (I, Erin Elizabeth, worked for a non-profit citizen’s action group for years trying to get the EPA to be held accountable. Instead, we found that they are in bed with these corporations and worse than organized crime enterprises. Yes, they’re that bad.)

During the trial, Monsanto lawyers argued poorly and ineffectively with no REAL science even going so far as to claim the most likely contributing factor to Hardeman’s illness was the Hepatitis C that he’s had for three decades. Although his lawyers countered that he had been free of hepatitis since 2004, an oncologist testifying for Monsanto (many called him a paid sold shill who “sold his soul to the devil”) “said the illness had lasting effects on the genetic system — a ‘hit-and-run’ impact, as the witness put it — that left its victims vulnerable to cancer.”1 We’ll have a full report on that paid Monsanto mouthpiece later and his full background. It’s VERY disturbing and frightening.

Thankfully, a pathologist testifying for Hardeman told the jury that Roundup was the most likely cause of his illness.

We obviously agree with the pathologist and congratulate Mr H.ardeman for this victory along with his team fighting for justice. Thanks again to Mr. Kennedy, as well.

One reader commented, “We know that sooner than later karma will come around for Monsanto, their paid lawyers and mouthpieces and justice will be mighty and swift like you’ve never seen.”

We couldn’t agree more.


  1. SF Chronicle