The film starts out with a quick history of Roundup and how its now-clearly absurd safety claims (such as "it's biodegradable," "safe enough to drink," and "safer than table salt") made it into the worlds' most widely used weed killer, used by farmers and private gardeners alike. Indeed, it was at one time known as "the world's most trusted herbicide," but those days are now long gone.
Between 1974 — the year glyphosate entered the U.S. market — and 2014, glyphosate use increased more than 250fold in the U.S. Today, an estimated 300 million pounds are applied on U.S. farmland annually. Globally, nearly 5 billion pounds (over 2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate are applied to some 70 types of farm crops each year.3
Roundup Is Far From Harmless
Mounting evidence suggests Roundup is far from harmless, and evidence unearthed during legal discovery shows Monsanto has been well aware of its product's toxic nature, and has been covering it up.
As previously discussed in many articles, glyphosate and glyphosate-based weed killer formulations such as Roundup have in recent years been linked to a wide variety of human health consequences, including:
Impairing your body's ability to produce fully functioning proteins5
Inhibiting the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria)
Chelating important minerals6
Disrupting sulfate synthesis and transport7
Interfering with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, resulting in folate and neurotransmitter shortages8
Disrupting your microbiome by acting as an antibiotic9
Impairing methylation pathways10
Monsanto Papers Reveal Company's Efforts to Squash Evidence of Carcinogenicity
August 10, 2018, a jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Dewayne Johnson13,14,15,16,17 in a truly historic case against Monsanto. Johnson — the first of 9,000 pending legal cases — claimed Monsanto's 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 2015.18 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. His court case, presided by Superior Court Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos, began June 18, 2018, and ended August 10 with a ruling in his favor.19
The jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to Johnson — an amount that effectively wipes out Monsanto's reserve fund for environmental and litigation liability which, according to Bloomberg,20 totaled $277 million as of August 2018.
The evidence presented to the jury, including email correspondence and corporate documents, create a comprehensive narrative of corporate malfeasance and collusion with U.S. regulatory agencies, and it was this evidence that ultimately led to Johnson being awarded a quarter of a billion dollars in damages.
You can review many of these "Monsanto Papers" on the U.S. Right to Know website.21 To learn more you can also read "Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science,"22 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,"23 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."