It’s been nearly two weeks since the historic verdict in the Monsanto trial and the news is still buzzing.
On Friday, Aug. 10, a jury in San Francisco ruled that the world’s most widely used herbicide—Monsanto’s Roundup—caused Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury found in favor of Mr. Johnson on all 16 questions the court asked them to answer.
Widespread media coverage of this landmark case has included articles by most major mainstream news organizations, including CNN, CBS News, NBC and others—a signal that concerns about the health impacts of Roundup are mainstream, not limited to “fringe” groups, as the chemistry industry would like us to believe.
Though extensive, the recent news coverage of Johnson’s trial marks just the beginning of the story of Monsanto being held liable for its decades of deception—because Johnson is just the first of more than 4,000 people in the U.S. to file suit against Monsanto in state and federal courts, alleging Roundup caused their cancer.
Organic Consumers Association’s (OCA) Ronnie Cummins put it best:
“This verdict proves that when ordinary citizens, in this case a jury of 12, hear the facts about Monsanto’s products, and the lengths to which this company has gone to buy off scientists, deceive the public and influence government regulatory agencies, there is no confusion. This is a company that has always put profits ahead of public safety, and today, Monsanto has finally been held accountable.”
Here are four must-see videos that help sum up the gravity of the outcome of this trial.
1. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos reads the verdict
On Friday, Aug. 10, Judge Bolanos read the verdict in the Monsanto trial. The jury found in favor of Johnson, the first person to take the agrochemical giant to trial, and awarded him $289.2 million in damages. The jury determined that Monsanto’s Roundup caused his cancer, that the company failed to warn him of the health hazards from exposure and that Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression,” because the company knew that its marquee product was dangerous and could cause cancer, but it hid that fact from consumers.
Watch here as Bolanos reads the verdict:
2. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman interviews lead trial counsel
Watch this excellent 16-minute Democracy Now! report as Goodman interviews the plaintiff’s lead trial counsel, Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Law. Wisner responds to the historic nature of the case:
“This verdict is without question truly historic. What Mr. Johnson has done, taking on this massive corporation, the courage, the tenacity and willingness to speak out against what he believed was a real problem is truly spectacular. And this jury heard it. This verdict is groundbreaking, it’s presidential, it’s something that I think Monsanto and its shareholders, particularly Bayer, are hearing loud and clear and realizing they have a problem with this product and they have to start warning people that it can cause cancer.”
Listen as Goodman and Wisner discuss the science behind the safety of Roundup and the “unhealthy and kind of creepy relationship between Monsanto and the regulators at the EPA.”
3. OCA’s Alexis Baden-Mayer’s interview on RT America
Baden-Mayer, political director for OCA, appeared on RT America last week sharing her hopes that this verdict will encourage people to stop using Roundup on their lawns and stop eating foods that are grown with Roundup.
She explains that:
“The Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing Monsanto’s herbicide registration. So there’s an opportunity for us to demand now that Roundup be banned nationally, and I hope everyone gets involved in the Millions Against Monsanto campaign to do that.”
She goes on to say that “the problem is that so many of our federal politicians are taking money from Monsanto.” She says that with the midterm elections for Congress coming up, people should find out if their members of Congress take money from Monsanto and if so, “call them out and demand candidates who do not take money from the pesticides industry.”
Watch as Baden-Mayer shares what she thinks will be most effective in going after Monsanto.
4. Bayer’s shares plunged the most in nearly seven years
Bloomberg’s Naomi Kresge reports that Bayer AG shares plunged the most in nearly seven years following the $289.2 million-verdict against Monsanto.
“I think investors are worried about the uncertainty here, concerned about potential legal liabilities and they’re concerned that this could lead to a wave of other lawsuits and even if this verdict doesn’t stand that Bayer might have to pay settlement cost for other suits.”
What can you do? Sign this petition and tell the National School Boards Association: No more Monsanto Roundup weedkiller!