Monsanto is no stranger to controversy, and a new lawsuit is turning out to be the poster child for their shady tactics. According to the prosecution, Monsanto has actively worked to manipulate the conversation about their herbicide RoundUp.
The case, which is being heard in a San Francisco courtroom, is one of hundreds pending across the US against Monsanto on this issue. The plaintiff is a former groundskeeper from the San Francisco Bay Area named DeWayne Johnson who developed a cancer which doctors have predicted will ultimately be fatal. Johnson is a husband, father of three and has been told he has just months to live.
In a meta-analysis of the discovery documentation, Krimsky, et al. concluded there was “evidence of ghostwriting, interference in journal publication, and undue influence of a federal regulatory agency.”
Krimsky went on to qualify these accusations and expand upon their significance. In a nutshell, Monsanto used their influence to “strong-arm” regulators, pressure academic journals and even pay outside scientists to list their names on internally produced research papers (known as ‘ghostwriting’).
Lawyers for the agrochemical giant argued [unsuccessfully] during discovery that internal e-mails should not be heard in court. Given the nature of them, it makes sense why they tried. The prosecution has been using the e-mails to demonstrate that Monsanto employees willfully and knowingly attempted to submit objective research about the dangers of a key chemical in RoundUp.
One such e-mail was written by a product protection lead who, in response to a study critical of the controversial chemical, asked frankly “How do we combat this?”
Just last week, a federal judge ruled to open the flood gates for the hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto over the alleged carcinogenic effects of RoundUp. The outcome of Johnson’s case will be a barometer for the amount of damage Monsanto can expect from the others.
John Rosenbaum is an Orange County Personal Injury attorney with decades of experience successfully fighting on behalf of his clients. If you need legal representation or simply advice, call today for a 100% free consultation.
Photo courtesy of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman