Every day, for eight weeks, I sat in a San Francisco courtroom.
I listened as Dewayne “Lee” Johnson described, in excruciating detail, how non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a painful and potentially terminal cancer, robbed him of his health.
I watched the spectacle of Monsanto’s lawyers trying to deny that Roundup weedkiller caused Lee’s cancer.
I watched Monsanto’s hired guns tap dance and dissemble, as they tried to explain Monsanto’s herculean 40-year campaign to hide the truth about Roundup’s deadly cancer-causing properties.
I know that my many friends like you, who support OCA, have been doing your part for years to expose Monsanto and to bring down this criminal enterprise.
That’s why this $289-million verdict for Lee Johnson is your victory, too.
This recent win makes our joint mission much clearer: We must leverage the short-term victory and win the long game.
That’s why I’m asking for your support for the Organic Consumers Association. OCA needs to meet its fall fundraising goal of $200,000 by midnight, September 22. Please make a generous donation online, by phone or by mail—details here.
It’s one of the industrial food industry’s biggest marketing scams—labeling a product “natural” or “all-natural” or “100% natural” in order to sell more product, despite knowing full well that the product contains ingredients that consumers would reasonably conclude are not natural.
“If you know you’re dying, it gives you that extra push. You can’t just die for nothing.”
Those words were spoken by Dewayne “Lee” Johnson in a recent TV interview with CBS News. Johnson was interviewed after a jury in San Francisco found that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer.
Until he became too sick to work, Johnson was a school groundskeeper.
His job required him to spray Roundup on school properties, including on playgrounds.
According to U.S. PIRG, 26 million pounds of Roundup are sprayed on public parks, schoolgrounds, playgrounds and gardens every year.
Thank you to the 12 jurors who listened attentively and critically, during long days of testimony, then deliberated with care, and ultimately did the right thing.
Thank you to the lawyers who invested countless hours in investigative work and trial preparation, and who argued rationally and intelligently on behalf of the plaintiff, science and ethics.
Thank you to those media outlets and advocacy organizations who covered the case, pored over the “Monsanto Papers” and took seriously their obligation to inform the public.
But most of all, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the plaintiff in the Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto case. For his persistence in getting to the bottom of what caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. For is bravery in going up against one of the most powerful corporations in the world.
For his refusal to give up, no matter the toll on his family, and on his failing health.
As our director, Ronnie Cummins said in an interview this week about the trial, and about Monsanto’s corruption and deception:
“We talk about these things in the abstract. But when you see the face of a victim, it literally brings these issues home.”
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.