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Monsanto sued by Australian farmer claiming the company’s Roundup product caused his cancer

Monsanto sued by Australian farmer claiming the company’s Roundup product caused his cancer

Anti-social agrochemical corporation Monsanto—now owned by anti-social pharmaceutical corporation Bayer—is finally getting its comeuppance. High time. In May, a California court order the company to pay more than $2 billion USD to a couple who were diagnosed with cancer after using its carcinogenic weedkiller, Roundup. Alva and Alberta Pilliod both got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from Roundup: they were awarded $1 billion in damages plus an additional $55 million.

Previously, in 2018, former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson (also diagnosed with Roundup-induced cancer) was awarded $289 million in damages, while yet another man, Edwin Hardeman, won $80 million.

Now, an Australia farmer is taking Monsanto to court after contracting cancer after using Roundup. ABC reports that 67-year-old Ross Wild, a farmer from NSW, has been using the cancer-causing chemical on his farm since 1976. Now he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is convinced that glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, is the cause.

Wild’s lawyer, Tony Carbone, filed his client’s suit with the Victorian Supreme Court this week. The suit argues that Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the dangers of exposing themselves to Roundup. Wild is seeking damages on that basis plus compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income and medical expenses. In a statement Carbone said:

“The company has always promoted the product as being safe. In fact, in some instances, it said it was ‘safer than table salt’. The average person, including farmers and gardeners, would think, ‘OK, if it’s marketed like that then it can’t be unsafe’.

Mr Wild wants everyone to know the product isn’t safe.”

Needless to say, Bayer Australia is evading responsibility, citing an “extensive body of science” demonstrating that glyphosate herbicides like Roundup do not cause cancer. Here’s an excerpt from the company’s statement:

“We firmly stand behind the safety of glyphosate-based products and, as a company devoted to life sciences, assure Australians that their health and the environment are our top priority. At the end of the day, whether you’re in the court of law, regulatory agencies or court of public opinion, it’s the science that should matter here. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”

All this non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma found in people routinely exposed to Roundup is surely just a coincidence.

About John Christie

I read and write about (mostly Australian) business, politics, culture and the like. In other words, whatever happens to catch my fancy at a given moment. George Orwell wrote a column called "As I Please," in which he scribbled about whatever was on his mind. Think of me like that--only, you know, without the literary brilliance.