One Lump Or Two: Judge Rules Against Monsanto In Coffee Grower’s Case Blaming Roundup For Her Cancer
Score one for the good guys.
In the face of Monsanto’s ongoing assault on human health and that of the planet itself, in which the company employs malleable scientist-sockpuppets loyal to its cause (and money), fights tooth and nail through easily-bought senators against consumers’ right to know what is in our food, and admits it employs an entire department devoted to countering any science that contradicts their pro-GMO party line, a rare win was recorded in a Hawaii courtroom the other day.
A federal judge has rejected the company’s request to dismiss the case filed by Christine Sheppard, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003, seven years after she started using Roundup at her coffee farm in Hawaii.
The case, which closely resembles that of a trio of farmers in Nebraska who were similarly stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup, has accused Monsanto of falsely claiming that glyphosate, the herbicide’s active ingredient, was safe. Especially in light of the World Health Organization’s study published last year that concluded glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” the judge’s ruling siding with Sheppard who has alleged that Monsanto has run a misinformation campaign means the lawsuit appears to be on solid ground.
Indeed, Monsanto’s defense in this case seems to be somewhat flailing and unfocused. The company’s lawyers focused tightly on a 2009 editorial piece penned by Sheppard in which she suggested her could be related to the fact that she and her partners used Roundup on their coffee farm from 1996 to 2004. She noted that she had never lived near any industry, and that the farm had been changed over to organic, and so asked rightly, “Why me?”
The lawyers sought to claim two things, that Sheppard had already concluded she was a victim of Roundup long before filing her claim in 2016, and that thus it should be dismissed as outside the statute of limitations.
The judge fired back that it wasn’t at all clear that the statute had run, due to the WHO study coming out just in 2015, and refused to dismiss the case, allowing it to move forward.
For her part, Christine Sheppard is said to be in remission, currently, but still undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She and her partner have sold their coffee farm and since moved to California.
One can only hope that the judge in this case continues to rule from not only a valid legal footing but also from a place of human conscience, so that Sheppard and others like her can finally get some justice.