Doctors say Johnson may only have a few months left to live, and that his cancer has spread throughout his body. He was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2014, at age 42. Johnson used to be a groundskeeper for the school district in Benicia,CA -- and he was charged with applying Roundup to the grounds.
Wisner declared on Monday that Monsanto "bullied scientists" and went to great lengths to suppress science that showed glyphosate caused cancer. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, a widely used weedkiller.
"Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers," the attorney contended.
“They fought science," he stated further in the San Francisco courtroom. Wisner presented internal emails from Monsanto; he contended that the emails show how the company rejected important research and ignored warnings from experts -- and that the agrichemical giant "pursued" and "helped" write more favorable studies.
As The Guardian reports, the fact that the judge has allowed Johnson's lawyers to present scientific arguments makes this case even more noteworthy. Unsurprisingly, Monsanto's lawyer, George Lombardi, continues to assert that the "science" is in their favor. "The scientific evidence is overwhelming that glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer," he commented during opening statements.
However, you might suppose that's because Monsanto has done a very good job of controlling the science on glyphosate. Wisner presented the court with emails indicative of such. In an email exchange about a critical study of glyphosate exposure, Monsanto's product protection lead Donna Farmer, wrote: “How do we combat this?”
In another email, where Farmer was giving colleagues tips for talking about glyphosate publicly, she explicitly stated, "You cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer.”
Wisner further presented internal documents which clearly described Monsanto's plan to obfuscate the International Agency for Research on Cancer's finding that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. The multi-step black ops plan included directives to "orchestrate public outcry" and named "industry partners" it would call upon for help.
Additionally, evidence of Monsanto's plans to "ghostwrite" favorable research on glyphosate was also provided.
Monsanto lawyer Lombardi argued that Johnson and his lawyers were "cherry picking" evidence -- a claim that's really rather laughable when its coming from Monsanto. Lombardi fell back on pointing to the EPA's approval of glyphosate -- which has already been proven to be nothing more than a sham. The EPA's stance on glyphosate blatantly ignored the threat it poses to human health, according to the very panel of expert scientists hired to review the government agency's opinion.
In another bid to keep Monsanto afloat, Lombardi proclaimed, "Testing has been done by independent scientists, by university scientists, by government scientists.” Will that statement fall on deaf ears, in light of the internal documents which all but prove Monsanto has been in cahoots with a number of phony "independent" organizations?
The fact that Monsanto has been conspiring to keep the truth about glyphosate's potential to harm humans under wraps is plain as day. Timothy Litzenburg, one of Johnson’s lawyers, contended that regardless of what the verdict ends up being, "so much of what Monsanto has worked to keep secret is coming out."
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Sources for this article include: