Jury Finds Bayer’s Roundup Weedkiller Caused Man’s Cancer: Where was the Science?


Comment by Jim Campbell

March 19th, 2019

There are a couple of things from this issue at hand we can be certain.

UPDATE:

Robert Dorr

Emeritus Professor of Medical Pharmacology

College of Medicine

University of Arizona

Hi Jim:

These verdicts are disappointing because there really is no scientific proof that glyphosphate is a carcinogen in humans.

The animal studies are equivocal and they represent MASSIVE glyphosphate exposure levels, wherein with humans using the product, one could never get that level of exposure unless they routinely took baths in Roundup or had Roundup cocktails for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

That also brings up personal liability for misuse of the product, i.e., not taking simple precautions to avoid topical or inhalation exposure.

Mechanistically, it also hard to envision a chemical like glyphosphate causing cancer because it does not contain the type of highly reactive molecules that have classically been associated with human carcinogens.

The whole thing doesn’t make sense, kind of like the talc story with ovarian cancer.

Thus, I believe that these events have more to do with lawyers, than with scientists.

 

When there’s blood in the water, the sharks will circle and in the end  the case will likely result in a massive class action suit will be filed in which the plaintiffs will get next to nothing and the attorneys will further enrich themselves.

Had I been on this jury it  likely would have ended up as a hung jury or I would have become the run away juror and explained a few things about science to my fellow jurors.

From what was presented, there was no proof to the plaintiff’s allegation.

This case would have fallen under Tort Law meaning:

Legal situations where an individual could be held liable for an injury inflicted upon another person.

I went back to law school in my mid 60’s not to become an attorney but to help me in my thinking as I wrote my articles.

 

 

Tort law cases also involve the injured party seeking compensation for any damages they have experienced (property loss, physical harm or pain and suffering).

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization branch, designated glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.

“Probably a carcinogen in humans is a far cry from “Is a carcinogen in humans.”

We are not told what type of cancer the individual developed.

There are many mitigating factors that can increase an individuals chance of developing cancer.

Smoking, diet, family history of cancer all must be considered.

Were they?

On further digging I found the individual developed non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma a very curable disease.

In the video below we listen to the musing of an individual who has no idea what he is talking about.

 

 

Jurors are no different than voters.

We are all on a bell shaped curve.

The times I have been on jury duty I was amazed at how inept a number of them were.

Forget about the slick, polished guys playing the role on television, they are exactly that.

Without prospective analysis using the scientific method the data presented in the above case is meaningless.

It’s nothing more than a retrospective analysis, which isn’t scientific and is worth, little to nothing.

Second phase of the trial will weigh Monsanto’s liability

Bayer faces lawsuits from about 11,200 farmers, home gardeners and landscapers claiming its glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. Photo: Haven Daley/Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO—A jury found that a man developed cancer from exposure to Roundup weedkiller he used in his yard, in the second case to go to trial over the alleged harms of the popular Bayer AG BAYRY 2.50% product.

The six-person jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco now is set to begin hearing evidence to separately weigh whether Bayer’s Monsanto unit should be held liable, a decision that could bring substantial financial damages against the company.

The verdict issued Tuesday marks another setback for Bayer, which has come under intense pressure since a jury in August reached a $289.2 million verdict in the first case over the weedkiller to go to trial.

That decision, which sent Bayer shares down sharply, came soon after the German company completed its acquisition of Monsanto Co.

Bayer has appealed that verdict, which the trial judge cut down to $78.5 million.

Tuesday’s verdict is likely to keep the heat on Bayer’s share price, which hasn’t recovered from its August drop.

Analysts and investors had seen Bayer at an advantage in this second trial after U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria agreed to split the evidence into two phases, with the first focusing solely on whether Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are carcinogenic.

 

Please see the entire article below.

 

In the first phase, jurors didn’t hear allegations that the company hid dangers about its product from the public.

Bayer faces lawsuits in the U.S. from about 11,200 farmers, home gardeners and landscapers claiming its glyphosate-based herbicides cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.

Six more trials are due to start this year in federal and state courts.

Bayer said Tuesday that it is disappointed with the jury’s decision but “we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer” and that the second phase of the trial “will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate.”

Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, attorneys for plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, said their client is pleased with the jury’s unanimous decision.

“Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup,” they said.

During the nine days of trial, ending Tuesday of last week, the San Francisco jury heard competing scientific evidence over whether Roundup has been shown to cause cancer.

Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys said he developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after 26 years of regularly using Roundup to control weeds and poison oak on his rural properties in Northern California.

“We’ve showed you the evidence that Monsanto refuses to analyze,” Ms. Wagstaff told jurors during closing arguments.

She argued that Monsanto disregards studies on animals and cell structures that, along with studies of human populations, prove Roundup’s dangers.

“Do not ignore the data that Monsanto is asking you to ignore,” Ms. Wagstaff said.

Bayer attorney Brian Stekloff countered in his closing remarks that the science jurors were shown by the plaintiff’s attorneys was made for court and that the expert witnesses aren’t warning anyone about the alleged harms of Roundup in their day jobs.

“They’re telling you, real-world medical practice doesn’t matter,” he said of the plaintiff’s position.

The jury deliberated over parts of five days, at one point asking to rehear testimony from Mr. Hardeman, before reaching its decision that a preponderance of evidence showed that Roundup exposure was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer.

Bayer argues that some 800 studies and regulatory decisions across the globe assert that glyphosate is safe and not carcinogenic.

Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said last month that the two-phase trial would allow Bayer to put a strong focus on scientific data that confirm the product’s safety.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization branch, designated glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.

That kicked off a wave of litigation and regulatory scrutiny around the world.

Ahead of the first trial, also in San Francisco, attorneys for plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, released internal Monsanto emails they said showed the company’s inappropriate role in shaping studies on glyphosate.

Bayer argues those emails were taken out of context.

A jury found that a man developed cancer from exposure to the Roundup he used in his yard to kill weeds. Photo: Antonio Pisacreta/Ropi/Zuma Press

Lawyers for Mr. Johnson argued in court that Monsanto knew the testing of glyphosate was insufficient and that employees ghostwrote favorable scientific articles and paid outside scientists to publish the articles under their names.

The jury in California state court found Monsanto knew or should have known of potential risks and failed to warn consumers.

The latest trial will now move into the second phase, probing Monsanto’s conduct and whether it was negligent.

Drawing the line on what evidence could be presented in the first phase prompted clashes in court, including $500 sanctions against the lead plaintiff’s lawyer for what the judge called obvious violations of his orders on what jurors could see.

Mr. Hardeman’s case is the first of three bellwether trials scheduled to take place in federal court to help assess the claims. Hundreds of federal cases have been consolidated in front of Judge Chhabria.

Mr. Baumann, Bayer’s CEO, cautioned in February that the glyphosate legal fight was “only at the beginning.”

Analysts say they will need to see at least a handful of verdicts before they can make more precise estimates of the potential liabilities for Bayer.

Until that happens, shares are likely to remain depressed, they say.

Tuesday’s verdict surprised Jonas Oxgaard, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. who follows the chemical and agricultural industries.

“I genuinely thought with the first stage here focusing on the science, that [Bayer] would win,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s a San Francisco jury.”

While Bernstein analysts viewed the scientific evidence as weighing in Bayer’s favor, they have estimated settling the litigation could cost the company up to $5 billion.

Bayer said it intends to continue contesting the allegations.

Write to Sara Randazzo at sara.randazzo@wsj.com and Ruth Bender at Ruth.Bender@wsj.com

THE END

 

About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement. Obama nearly destroyed our country economically, militarily coupled with his racism he set us further on the march to becoming a Socialist State. Now it's up to President Trump to restore America to prominence. Republicans who refuse to go along with most of his agenda RINOs must be forced to walk the plank, they are RINOs and little else.
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2 Responses to Jury Finds Bayer’s Roundup Weedkiller Caused Man’s Cancer: Where was the Science?

  1. JAFC says:

    Actually, a touchy subject. A 2-4-5T derivative. Not friendly to the endocrine system. Plus, most people do not use it according to the printed instructions.
    Recommended reading:
    https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1685459

    Like

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