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NEWS Monsanto in court!


Bayer/Monsanto loses big again in second RoundUp trial


A San Francisco federal court has awarded a Sonoma County landowner $80.3 million in the second lawsuit against Monsanto’s popular herbicide, RoundUp.


Edwin Hardeman, 70, is one of 11,200 product users who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, arguing that the herbicide caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that the company buried evidence rather than warning consumers of the possible health impacts.


Hardeman’s trial was conducted in a two-part sequence to preserve the validity of the jury’s assessment on the link between RoundUp and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is one of three trials likely to have a major influence on the remaining lawsuits filed, although the defendants claim that each trial will be individually assessed.


The San Francisco jury ruled in Hardeman’s favour and found that Monsanto had knowingly marketed lethal products; thus, awarding $75 million in punitive damages as a result. This was tacked on to $200,000 to cover expenses and economic losses, and $5 million to compensate for past and future suffering.


For 26 years, Hardeman used RoundUp as a herbicide on his plot of land in Sonoma County.


Wild bees and other insects are disappearing in the UK.


Researchers have studied 700,000 records on insects from 1980 onwards and found that a third (or 33%) of 353 species, including wild bees and hoverflies, have declined across their ranges. Experts say that the levels of die-offs within several species of flying insects over the past decades raise the prospect that they may soon go extinct in England, Scotland and Wales.


Then he was diagnosed with lymph cancer, which the World Health Organisation has linked to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has not banned the substance.


Over the past year, researchers have found glyphosate present in cereal, and beer and wine.


Bayer AG, who acquired Monsanto for $63 billion last June, say they are disappointed with the ruling and will appeal the verdict.


Bayer has lost more than 60% of its value since acquiring Monsanto.


Wild bees, which serve a vital role ecosystems as pollinators, have especially been hard-hit by the use of neonicotinoids, which have recently been banned by the European Union. However, more than a tenth (11%) of species studied have seen their numbers increase since 1980, which means that certain insect pollinators are still abundant enough in the UK.


A third of insects surveyed are in decline, including upland bees, which inhabit alpine environments and moorlands, and solitary bees, which live in burrows in the ground. But not all insects are on their way out: populations of 22 species of Britain's most important crop pollinators are in good health.


“The widespread common species, in very broad terms, are doing okay. The rarer species are doing less well,” says Nick Isaac, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. “If you only care about wildlife and biodiversity, it’s bad news. If you only care about whether your crops are being pollinated, it's okay.”


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