In the Field

Monsanto Verdict Once Again Shows Dangers of Herbicides

Monsanto Verdict Once Again Shows Dangers of Herbicides

Chemical companies have maintained for decades that products that use glyphosate are safe, even though some studies have not always been so conclusive. Now, a California jury has sided against one of the biggest such companies.

The jury found Missouri-based Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a school groundskeeper. He claimed the company’s products – specifically Roundup and Ranger Pro- caused him to develop cancer during his two years using the products frequently on the job.

Jurors awarded the groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, a total of $289 million. Of that, $39 million was for compensatory damages and $250 million was for punitive damages, according to the New York Times. 

Johnson has non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He is not expected to live past 2020.

More Lawsuits Pending

Monsanto issued a statement saying Roundup has a 40-year history of safe use and said 800 scientific studies and reviews have proven that is the case. Johnson’s attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., compared Monsanto to tobacco companies and said they have used “all the different PR strategies and the legal strategies to confuse the science, to blur the science.”

Studies have been contradictory. For example, in 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that glyphosate was not likely carcinogenic to humans. But in 2015, the World Health Organization’s said glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” according to the Times.

Another attorney for Johnson, Brent Wisner, said jurors were shown documents that indicated people within Monsanto knew that glyphosate-based products could be harmful to humans.

Monsanto faces at least hundreds of other cancer-related lawsuits, according to NPR. They plan to appeal the verdict in the Johnson case.

Use in Agriculture

The Monsanto case offers another example of why we here at Acabonac Farms never use any type of such chemicals. While it would perhaps make things easier, such products are seen by us as promoting death, not life.

Glyphosate-based products such as Roundup are widely used by farmers across the country. A report from Newsweek found that “the world is awash in glyphosate.” It is now the most-used chemical in the history of the world. Some 1.8 million tons of glyphosate-based products have been used in the United States since 1974.   

Acabonac Farms has made a firm commitment to not use glyphosate. It goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to producing 100% grass-fed and pasture-finished beef without the use of any type of growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics. 

When it comes to glyphosate, it’s difficult to say for sure the full consequences of their use. Years from now, no one wants to find out that such chemicals don’t promote health for humans, animals or the soil. That’s why Acabonac Farms will always stand by its commitment to not use such chemicals – now, or ever.

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