The Man Who Fought Monsanto Will Leave a Lasting Legacy
Anna Lappe, Civil Eats, 8/13/2018
A San Francisco jury has ruled in the first court case against the chemical company Monsanto, finding that its signature products, glyphosate-based herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro, are associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—and that the company acted with malice and negligence in failing to warn consumers. They awarded the plaintiff, 46-year old Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, $39.2 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
This is a huge win for those who have been sounding the alarm about the dangers of these widely used herbicide products for years. This is also a huge hit to Monsanto: the majority of its $14.6 billion in annual sales come from herbicides containing glyphosate and seeds genetically engineered to withstand those herbicides. This is the first case to challenge the chemical behemoth (which was recently acquired by Bayer Chemical) about its weed-killers, but it won’t be the last: There are more than 4,000 other plaintiffs waiting in the wings.