Opinion: Will Bayer rue Monsanto purchase?

Ironically I was on some R-and-R in St. Louis, headquarters to Monsanto, when a California jury dropped the mother of all H-bombs on Bayer’s newest acquisition:  Monsanto’s flagship weed killer Roundup contributed to high school groundsman Dewayne Johnson’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Put bluntly the jury ruled Roundup causes cancer and it awarded terminally-ill Johnson $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.  Yup $289 million total. Bayer, which purchased Monsanto just two months ago, has taken a massive financial hit, losing more than 10 percent of share value. So how did Monsanto and Bayer lose?

Opinion: Lawsuits moving forward on whether Monsanto’s Roundup cause cancer

Bayer’s announcement that it is terminating the Monsanto brand as part of its takeover of the St. Louis agri-business company unfortunately won’t come close to ending controversies surrounding Monsanto. Can you say clean up on aisle four? One needs to look no further than the massive cancer trial that got underway in early July  to understand the huge stakes Bayer is facing. The trial – in a nutshell – is whether or not California native DeWayne “Lee”Johnson developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from exposure to Monsanto’s flagship product weedkiller Roundup.  Johnson sprayed the chemical for years as part of his jobs serving as a goundskeeper for a school district in Benicia, California.

Opinion: Monsanto faces court reckoning on ghostwriting scheme

Later this year – June 18 to be specific – the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco will hear evidence on whether Monsanto hired and paid supposedly neutral mouthpieces under the table to present false or biased information to the public on the safety of its Roundup chemical glyphosate. On the surface, written evidence unsealed by the court is damning. A minority report prepared for members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology released in February is especially enlightening in laying out the case for accusers. The scheme is tangled and complicated, but here is the rough outline. Create or find a front-group with a creditable sounding name from which academics could write pieces attacking opponents of the chemical industry and its products.