289 Million Dollar Verdict – Bob Egelko, San Franciso Chronicle

A jury in San Francisco awarded $289 million dollars to DeWayne “Lee” Johnson, a school groundskeeper who sued Monsanto because he has a terminal prognosis due to a cancer (Non Hodgkins Lymphoma) caused by his exposure to the weed killer Round Up and its active ingredient of Glyphosate.  Monsanto, now owned by the German firm Bayer, presented hundreds of scientific studies, US EPA, National Institute of Health and other evidence that Glyphosate was safe. However  the jury, presented with contrary conclusions by the International Agency of Health, the State of California, along with persuasive testimony by Mr. Johnson came to a decision that could be the first of more to come. Over 4,000 similar charges have been made.  With so much conflicting science, why did the Jury side with Mr. Johnson against Monsanto?  We ask one of the most experienced legal affairs reporters in the nation, Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle who covered the case and has posted the most thorough reporting  on the issue to date. On Farm To Table Talk Mr. Egelko explains what happened in this Court and points out that other court decision are coming out with seemingly conflicting  decisions about Glyphosate.  These cases are not about application of the herbicide on crops such as corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered to tolerate Roundup as the weeds in their midst are killed. In a range of applications, the issue is whether glyphosate is as safe as has been claimed. Much more is coming on related questions, including the practice of “dessication” where Roundup is applied just before harvest on some crops, oddly including  some marketed as “Non GMO” –not genetically engineered but sprayed with Glyphosate.

Read Bob Egelko’s coverage https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Monsanto-case-Bay-Area-man-with-cancer-awarded-13147891.php