Jury says Monsanto weedkiller was substantial factor in man’s cancer

In a trial that could serve as a bellwether for other cases, a federal court jury decided unanimously that a Monsanto herbicide was a substantial factor in causing cancer in Edwin Hardeman, of Santa Rosa, Calif, reported the Guardian. In the next phase of the trial, the jury will weigh liability and whether to award damages against Monsanto.

In Roundup case, federal judge vets the experts for testimony

A federal lawsuit alleging Monsanto’s top-selling weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer is at a pivotal moment as the presiding judge deliberates on which scientific experts will be permitted to testify before a jury. A verdict preventing key experts from linking Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma could deliver a disastrous blow to the case filed by farmers, landscapers, and consumers suffering from cancer. No paywall

Glyphosate not likely to cause cancer in people, says EPA

A draft human health risk assessment of the most widely used weedkiller in the world concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be a human cancer agent, says the Environmental Protection Agency.

Human exposure to glyphosate up 500 percent in GMO era

Since GMO crops came into cultivation two decades ago, human exposure to glyphosate has increased by approximately 500 percent, according to UC-San Diego scientists. They say more research is needed on the impact of the chemical on human health. The research follows the listing of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, by California regulators as a carcinogen.

Monsanto and ag groups sue California for listing glyphosate as a carcinogen

California regulators violated the Constitution by requiring warning labels on glyphosate containers saying the herbicide is a carcinogen, says a federal lawsuit filed by Monsanto and a dozen farm and agribusiness groups.

Monsanto’s campaign for glyphosate comes under scrutiny

In a comprehensive look at the controversy over the weedkiller glyphosate, FERN in a story with The Nation magazine documents the steps Monsanto took in a concerted spin campaign with scientists and regulators to make sure the world’s most widely used herbicide remained free of any links to cancer. But author Rene Ebersole in the article, “Mass Exposure,” writes that the company's carefully constructed defense of the chemical is coming under increasing pressure, as its methods behind that defense are revealed.

Worrisome levels of nitrate in drinking water for 7 million Americans

Seven million Americans who live in small cities and towns have worrisome levels of nitrates in their drinking water — below the federal limit of 10 milligrams per liter, but high enough to be associated with cancer in some studies, said an Environmental Working Group official. Craig Cox, head of EWG's Midwest office, said 1,683 communities had nitrate levels above 5 milligrams per liter and, when plotted on a map, they "crazily lined up with intensive agriculture."

China faces widespread soil pollution from plastic mulch

To boost food production, China has spread polyethylene film across 49 million acres — 12 percent of the country’s total farmland — despite warnings that the synthetic mulch is toxic and degrades the soil.

Pesticides and plastics to blame in plummeting sperm counts

For years, scientists have warned that male sperm counts are dropping around the world, but critics — chemical companies included — have questioned the data. But now, the largest, most rigorous study to date shows sperm counts are down by nearly 59.3 percent in North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, while sperm concentration has dropped by 52 percent overall over almost 40 years. This time, even many skeptics are convinced.

Monsanto took active role in glyphosate safety review

Dozens of internal emails "reveal how Monsanto worked with an outside consulting firm to induce" a scientific journal "to publish a purported 'independent' review of Roundup's health effects that appears to be anything but," says Bloomberg Businessweek. The review, published as a supplement by Critical Reviews in Toxicology, rebutted the conclusion by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, is probably carcinogenic to humans.