Doctors didn’t think he’d live long enough to testify in court that exposure to Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killer caused his deadly cancer. But the 46-year-old is now first in line to go to trial against the agrochemical giant among thousands of people across the U.S. who blame its herbicide for their disease.As groundskeeper for the school district in Benicia, California, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, Johnson mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of Roundup. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and in July, after chemotherapy and other treatment, his oncologist gave him six months to live. A pretrial ruling allows Johnson’s lawyers to try to use internal Monsanto correspondence to show that the company has long been aware of the risk its herbicides are carcinogenic.
Monsanto knows “the cat is out of the bag” and there is no more hiding or pretending. We know that the majority of researches that claim safety of glyphosate are performed by scientists who are funded by Monsanto. Monsanto and its financial beneficiaries should be ashamed aware of the toxicity of their product they are poisoning our nation with glyphosate its residue found in soy, sugar, corn or wheat, orange juice and more.
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was first approved for use in Monsanto’s weed killer in 1974. According to rodale.com, in U.S. alone, homeowners and farmers use about 100 million pounds of Roundup herbicide every year. At the same time, weeds are becoming more resistant to Roundup, so farmers are using more and more chemicals to deal with super-pests and super-weeds. From 1994 to 2005, the use of glyphosate has increased by 1,500 percent. As it grew to become the world’s most popular and widely used herbicide, the question of whether it causes cancer has been hotly debated by environmentalists, regulators, researchers and lawyers -- even as Monsanto has insisted for decades that it’s perfectly safe. Now, a jury will decide in a case set to start this week in San Francisco state court.
Biologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber comments on the links between cancer and pesticides in the President's Cancer Panel report:
We have sprayed pesticides … throughout our shared environment. They are now in amniotic fluid. They’re in our blood. They’re in our urine. They’re in our exhaled breath. They are in mothers’ milk … What is the burden of cancer that we can attribute to this use of poisons in our agricultural system? ... We won’t really know the answer until we do the other experiment — which is to take the poisons out of our food chain, embrace a different kind of agriculture, and see what happens.
Steingraber’s book (and documentary film) Living Downstream tells the story of her own "journey" as a cancer survivor, and documents her scientific investigations that expose a simple, tragic truth: As a society, we are so busy treating cancer and searching diligently for a cure that we’re failing to tackle its causes.