The Monsanto Papers

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Glyphosate was originally patented by Monsanto and branded as Roundup—a powerful weed killer. Today it’s the most widely used herbicide around the world. For most farmers, it’s essential because it works and they do not have any other alternative as yet. Choosing not to use this product would mean massive problems in their systems. Some farmers believe that of all the chemicals available, Roundup is the safest if you take all the necessary precautions.

However, another group of farmers see it quite differently. One particular man who used Roundup extensively on his property has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He blames Roundup for the cancer, even though he can’t prove it. Allegedly the amount of farmers with this particular cancer is noticeable, though. Is it all just a coincidence?

Roundup is quick, easy, and effective. That is one of the main reasons why so many farmers love to use it. Besides, the product issues no warning as to possible side effects. This is precisely what is seen as unacceptable by those who have been affected.

For instance, a former school groundskeeper in California was awarded a whopping $289 million after he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of using Roundup. This man sprayed the product for hours a day, dozens of times every year with the use of a pressure hose. The amount sprayed amounted to about 150 gallons every morning.  His exposure was very extreme, but prior to using the product he had healthy skin. Just two years after he began using it, he developed this aggressive type of cancer.

Monsanto still claims that their product is safe and in this particular case they feel that the jury didn’t understand the science. They have expressed deep sympathy for Mr. Johnson the groundskeeper, though.

German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, recently bought Monsanto and they have decided to keep the controversial product despite all the negativity surrounding it.

The farmers who support Roundup claim that they need the product and are not willing to lose it because of a few tree-huggers that had a negative experience with it. Ultimately they believe that the lawsuit will end up affecting them because paying off that amount of money will definitely require a price increase in the company’s products.  Sadly, it seems like those who support Roundup will be the ones paying for those who don’t support it.