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Old 11th August 2018, 07:12 AM   #1
angrysoba
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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289m in Case Linking Glyphosate to Cancer

Quote:
Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers.

It's the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling.

"The jury got it wrong," vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.
BBC

This case has apparently been going on for some time, and the New York Times had earlier reported that the internal emails had been suggestive of a cover-up of some kind by Monsanto figures:

Quote:
In one email unsealed Tuesday, William F. Heydens, a Monsanto executive, told other company officials that they could ghostwrite research on glyphosate by hiring academics to put their names on papers that were actually written by Monsanto. “We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Mr. Heydens wrote, citing a previous instance in which he said the company had done this.

Asked about the exchange, Monsanto said in a second statement that its “scientists did not ghostwrite the paper” that was referred to or previous work, adding that a paper that eventually appeared “underwent the journal’s rigorous peer review process before it was published.”

David Kirkland, one of the scientists mentioned in the email, said in an interview, “I would not publish a document that had been written by someone else.” He added, “We had no interaction with Monsanto at all during the process of reviewing the data and writing the papers.”
In response to the New York Times report, Steven Novella pointed out that there are two claims being made. One that Monsanto was engaging in some dishonest behaviour and two, more importantly in this case, the question of whether glyphosate causes cancer:

Quote:
There are essentially two questions raised by Hakim’s latest article. The first concerns the behavior of Monsanto. Hakim alleges that they ghostwrote scientific articles for academics and used political pressure to shut down EPA reviews of glyphosate’s safety. I would not assume this assessment is true, and certainly don’t trust Hakim’s journalism given his history. The academics in question deny the allegations, and Monsanto claims these e-mails are taken out of context. We have certainly seen that before.

I don’t have enough info at this time to form my own opinion, but let’s assume that the worst interpretation of the allegations are true. This means that Monsanto tried to put its thumb on the scale to garner favorable reviews for its products. If true, this is clearly wrong. Corporations can (and often must) fund research, but they need to let the chips fall where they may. Academics should resist the temptation to accept too much “help” from corporations. This behavior is, unfortunately, very common and not limited to Monsanto.

But these allegations need to be kept in proper context. Not to excuse them in any way, but Hakim implies that this behavior raises fresh concerns about the safety of glyphosate, which is the second core question raised by the article. I don’t think that it does, however. There is nothing in the revealed e-mails that calls into question the large body of independent scientific research into the safety of glyphosate, any more than the infamous e-mails called into question the large body of scientific research establishing man-made global warming.
So:

1) Does this case now reveal that glyphosate is dangerous?
2) Does this case now reveal that Monsanto are monsters?

Or:

3) Did the jury make the wrong decision on the link between glyphosate and cancer?
4) Was the jury swayed by misleading presentation of emails and documents?
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Old 11th August 2018, 07:21 AM   #2
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1) No, you would need evidence that it IS dangerous not evidence that someone who wants it to seem non-dangerous goes out of their way to do so.
2) just like "climategate" we need the context for the quotes/paraphrases.
3) The jury if they are not experts frankly have a 0% chance of being correct on science and statistics
4) Maybe
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Old 11th August 2018, 08:01 AM   #3
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Californians find against chemistry and agriculture. News at 11.
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Old 11th August 2018, 08:41 AM   #4
dann
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
BBC
2) Does this case now reveal that Monsanto are monsters?

No. Monsanto were always monsters.
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Old 11th August 2018, 09:31 AM   #5
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The dose makes the poison, and animal studies show that at certain levels it's carcinogenic (in those animals, at least.) The IRAC says it's probably carcinogenic in humans at some dose. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/i...evaluation.pdf

This guy worked with the stuff for a living, so it has little to do with small amounts on food, whether this particular man's cancer was caused by it or not, which is an almost impossible question to answer.
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Old 11th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
The first concerns the behavior of Monsanto. Hakim alleges that they ghostwrote scientific articles for academics and used political pressure to shut down EPA reviews of glyphosate’s safety. I would not assume this assessment is true, and certainly don’t trust Hakim’s journalism given his history. The academics in question deny the allegations, and Monsanto claims these e-mails are taken out of context. We have certainly seen that before.
For the sake of discussion, I would be delighted to see someone propose a hypothetical context that would make this:

Quote:
In one email unsealed Tuesday, William F. Heydens, a Monsanto executive, told other company officials that they could ghostwrite research on glyphosate by hiring academics to put their names on papers that were actually written by Monsanto. “We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Mr. Heydens wrote, citing a previous instance in which he said the company had done this.
completely innocuous.
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Last edited by Checkmite; 11th August 2018 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11th August 2018, 10:23 PM   #7
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Science by jury.
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Old 13th August 2018, 12:44 AM   #8
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Landmark Monsanto payout over possible Roundup cancer link divides Australian farmers

Quote:
A landmark lawsuit in the United States has stoked fears among Australian farmers that the most commonly used herbicide in the world could be taken off shelves amid cancer concerns.

But some farmers are more concerned by the health risks and want a review of the use of the chemical in Australia.

...

National regulator the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) released a statement saying APVMA-approved products containing glyphosate could continue to be used safely according to label directions.

While Homebase, one of the United Kingdom's biggest home hardware stores, is reviewing the sale of Roundup in light of the US court's ruling, the APVMA said it had reviewed glyphosate in 2016 and would not conduct another review "at this time".

Australian DIY giant Bunnings said it would continue to stock Roundup.
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Old 13th August 2018, 03:36 AM   #9
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I do think it is funny how everyone goes on about Monsanto and Roundup as if they are the only company manufacturing glyphosate and using it in their herbicides.
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Old 13th August 2018, 03:41 AM   #10
kellyb
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
For the sake of discussion, I would be delighted to see someone propose a hypothetical context that would make this:



completely innocuous.
It's not under any hypothetical context.

ETA:
I'm pretty sure "the argument" is just that the research itself is solid, but was expensive to do, so the company "had" to be the ones to do it, and since some regulatory agencies don't take industry sponsored research seriously, that was the incentive to make it look like independent university research.
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Last edited by kellyb; 13th August 2018 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 13th August 2018, 03:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
I do think it is funny how everyone goes on about Monsanto and Roundup as if they are the only company manufacturing glyphosate and using it in their herbicides.
Isn't that because Monsanto makes the glyphosate-resistant crop seeds, so more of the herbicide can be used?
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Old 13th August 2018, 04:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Isn't that because Monsanto makes the glyphosate-resistant crop seeds, so more of the herbicide can be used?
Or because Monsanto is where the money is. And more people know the names Monsanto and Round-up than the names of the other companies and glyphosate.

Last edited by jadebox; 13th August 2018 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 13th August 2018, 06:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Isn't that because Monsanto makes the glyphosate-resistant crop seeds, so more of the herbicide can be used?
While they were first to market, they aren't the only ones with this technology now, in fact one of their competitors is selling soy bean seeds which are resistant to three herbicides, glyphosate, glufosinate and 2,4-D. They also produce a herbicide that contains all three so as to kill any weeds that have become glyphosate resistant due to over use of glyphosate only based products.

It's just seems that those that aren't actually in the industries or involved only seem to be aware of Monsanto and Roundup.
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Last edited by PhantomWolf; 13th August 2018 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 13th August 2018, 06:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Or because Monsanto is where the money is. And more people know the names Monsanto and Round-up than the names of the other companies and glyphosate.
Here's a list, I'm sure you will have heard of a few of them....
  • Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry Company
  • BASF
  • Bayer CropScience
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • DuPont
  • Jiangsu Good Harvest-Weien Agrochemical Company
  • Monsanto
  • Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals Company
  • Nufarm Limited
  • SinoHarvest
  • Syngenta
  • Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group Company
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Old 13th August 2018, 06:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Or because Monsanto is where the money is. And more people know the names Monsanto and Round-up than the names of the other companies and glyphosate.
It also makes to easier for the antagonists to cast the story in a very black and white way. Bringing extra data into the scenario only blurs the message.
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Old 13th August 2018, 07:17 PM   #16
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...watching this VERY closely.

I do ecological recovery work. We use a LOT of herbicide. Several different kinds too.
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Old 14th August 2018, 03:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post

1) Does this case now reveal that glyphosate is dangerous?
2) Does this case now reveal that Monsanto are monsters?

Or:

3) Did the jury make the wrong decision on the link between glyphosate and cancer?
4) Was the jury swayed by misleading presentation of emails and documents?
1. Not really no.
2. No.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
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Old 14th August 2018, 03:38 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Isn't that because Monsanto makes the glyphosate-resistant crop seeds, so more of the herbicide can be used?
It's a common technique.
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