Early this week, a California court appointed the judge who will oversee the trial of DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company.
DeWayne “Lee” Johnson was a school groundskeeper, a job that required him to use Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller on school properties.
The 46-year-old father of two is now terminally ill, with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). And he’s suing Monsanto.
Johnson is just one of thousands of NHL sufferers suing Monsanto for not only causing their cancer, but for knowingly exposing them to risk by concealing Monsanto's own internal evidence linking Roundup to NHL and other health problems.
Johnson is the first to go to trial, because California expedites trials for the terminally ill.
Wayne Johnson could have chosen to live out the rest of his life in peace. Instead, he chose to use the time he has left to face down one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Johnson is committed to holding Monsanto accountable.
We owe it to him to be just as unwavering in our determination to hold Monsanto accountable.
A number of our supporters wrote recently to complain about the cozy deal between MoveOn.org and Ben & Jerry’s. It’s a deal that lets the ice cream maker polish its image (and boost sales) by aligning its brand with progressive causes—even though the Unilever-owned company is responsible for the use of massive amounts of toxic chemicals that have all but ruined Vermont’s water.
These supporters (and others) were referring to emails to MoveOn members from "Ben & Jerry" with subject lines like “We're worried” and “Stop Trump. Eat Ice Cream.”
But let’s be clear. This is free advertising for Ben & Jerry’s, a brand that masquerades as “socially responsible” when it isn’t. And it’s a great example of subliminal advertising, designed to convey this message: “Hey, we’re just like you. We care.”
The marketing gurus at Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s know full well that many consumers are willing to spend more for products sold by “socially responsible” companies. According to a recent report, Unilever's “Sustainable Living” brands are growing 46 percent faster than rest of business.
Thanks to internal emails uncovered by Carey Gillam, writing for The Guardian, the public knows that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found glyphosate residues in a variety of foods. In fact, the agency had trouble finding any foods that didn’t test positive for traces of the chemical, best-known as the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
It’s the FDA’s job to conduct residue testing on food. It’s the responsibility of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate pesticide residues on food. It stands to reason then that the two taxpayer-funded agencies would communicate closely with each other on any food testing involving glyphosate or any other pesticide.
That’s why U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) has filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with both agencies, and shared the findings in a series of stories by Gillam, a former Reuters reporter who now directs research for the consumer advocacy group.
The FDA has produced at least some of the documents requested by USRTK. But the EPA has dodged group’s effort to learn more about this matter of public policy and public health.
Five years ago, under mounting pressure from consumers, Whole Foods Market (WFM) announced that by the end of 2018, the then-largest retailer of organic foods would require all of its suppliers to clearly label GMO ingredients and foods.
Last week, the company reneged on that commitment, or at least the timeline part of it.
This time, there was no flashy press release, no media fanfare. Instead, the news was circulated quietly in an email to the company’s suppliers.
In the email, WFM Chief Operations Officer A.C. Gallo claimed the company, now owned by Amazon, is merely “pausing” the plan, until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalizes labeling requirements under the federal mandatory labeling law passed in July 2016—a law that (intentionally) has no teeth.
It remains to be seen if Congress will get its act together to pass a Farm Bill before year’s end. But here’s what we do know. If Congress succeeds in passing a 2018 Farm Bill, it will almost certainly be bad news for the organic industry.
We already know that the House version, H.R.2, includes potentially devastating attacks on organic and regenerative food and farming. Fortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down H.R. 2 last week. But we’re not out of the danger zone yet—the House is scheduled to vote on its bill again on June 22.
The Senate is about to drop its Farm Bill as early as June 6, according to Politico. We haven't seen that bill yet. But we do know that the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee—Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)—aren’t great friends of organic. We also know that the Senate Farm Bill will be bipartisan—which means it’s sure to pass.
The Organic Trade Association, which should be committed to protecting organic standards from any sneak attacks in the Farm Bill, has indicated that it will stand with consumers. But we're skeptical, given the group’s track record.
In the meantime, we’re urging supporters of organic to ask their Senators to protect organic and regenerative food and farming.
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.