Just in today, I may have fallen on the wrong side of this issue.
Sometime around 2015, the topic of GMO’s, pesticides and all things big biotech and big organic came onto my radar. This stuff came to be there after I just for the hell of it, decided to look into the background details and nuances of just one anti- GMO article that I had been regularly exposed to over the years due to a subscription to several ecologically oriented news publications. I was somewhat dumbfounded to find that not only was THAT article very misleading (to put it mildly), it was a common practice with these sorts of publications.
And it wasn’t just in the biased media platforms covering the stories (either side, really). Being that monied interests exist on BOTH sides of the aisle, EVERYONE has lobbyists and an interest in muddying the waters. And they are very successful. When looking into these things, I learned to avoid pretty much ANY media coverage or sources regardless of their credentials. Even before this Fake News non-sense was ratcheted up by Donald, people will almost always be tempted to write off the messenger. Which left trying to work with the scientific documentation, which was a giant pain in the rear. Likely for anyone, but certainly for a person outside of any involved fields.
Such was the state of information that it became difficult to even for ME to tell if I was truly being a useful arbiter of information, or if I was just a useful idiot of one side. Such was my confusion that I pretty much stopped covering these topics altogether for a good year or 2, before being brought back by the interesting new innovation that is lab-grown meat.
Back when the Monsanto lawsuit first came on my radar, my first thought was frankly, frivolous lawsuit. Having seen part of the documentary called Hot Coffee (and recognizing how embedded the wrongful tort trope is in our culture), I now realize that such a reaction was . . . unsurprising (Hello useful idiot me!). None the less, it seemed like the science (as seemingly confirmed by what I could find) spoke for itself.
‘Guilty on All Counts!’: In Historic Victory, Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit
In an historic victory for those who have long sought to see agrochemical giant Monsanto held to account for the powerful company’s toxic and deadly legacy, a court in California on Friday found the corporation liable for damages suffered by a cancer patient who alleged his sickness was directly caused by exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicides, including the widely used weedkiller Roundup.
As Reuters reports:
The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial.
Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.
The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.
As Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer representing Johnson in the case, declared on Twitter, the court “awarded 200 million in punitive damages against Monsanto for ‘acting with malice and oppression.'”
I don’t like Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The man’s stances on vaccination AT BEST, can be argued to be child abuse (forcing a child to potentially contract terrible illnesses that we CAN EASILY TREAT!), or at worst, threaten the whole of humanity. Epidemics and pandemics ARE a thing, and it’s only a matter of time before the big one is upon us. And if a huge cohort that CAN be immunized is irrationally afraid because of some deluded jackass Andrew Wakefield believer . . .
Either way, not a fan. Nor am I a fan of the way the Organic Consumers of America is jumping all over this news. It’s a lobby group, people!
None the less, if there was merit to the lawsuit, credit where credit is due. Keep fighting for the little guy.
I suppose we will see in the coming days and weeks, how this really played out. Whether it was indeed the facts that drove the decision. Or if Big Organic just made a better (to clarify, far more emotionally captivating) argument.