A Bad Sign For Monsanto

Grind for August 15th, 2018
“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Time For Action

The Headline

Lawmakers push to improve fire prevention strategies in California

The Grind

As wildfires continue to rage throughout California, lawmakers like Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) are pushing for legislation that would focus on prevention rather than response.

Jackson lost 23 neighbors last year when a 40-day fire swept through Santa Barbara.

The Details

Increasing temperatures and years of drought have transformed the state of California into a “tinderbox ready to burn,” says Jackson. “Clearly we have to think differently, and we have to act differently.”

Key elements of the bill include:

— More controlled burns to reduce wildfire fuel

— Improved training for the people conducting controlled burns

— Funding that would allow the state to triple the amount of land treated with controlled burns

The proposal, which Jackson describes as a “scientific and pre-emptive approach,” is moving through the Assembly appropriations committee with widespread support from environmental groups and residents living in forested areas.

You Reap What You Sow

The Headline

Bayer loses $14 billion after weed killers contribute to cancer case

The Grind

Bayer’s shares dropped 12% (the equivalent of $14 billion) after a court ruling confirmed that weed killers, Roundup and RangerPro, gave California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson terminal cancer.

Roundup and RangerPro are both owed by agritech company Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in June. Neither product was labeled as a carcinogen.

The court wants Monsanto to pay Johnson $289 million in damages.

The Implication

Roundup and RangerPro both contain glyphosate – a suspected but unconfirmed carcinogen.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer in humans.

Two years later, after fierce lobbying from Monsanto and Bayer, the EPA published an analysis suggesting that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer in humans.

There are nearly 5,000 cancer-related lawsuits against Monsanto. If all lawsuits return the same verdict as Johnson’s, Bayer could end up owing more than $1.45 trillion in damages – more than enough to bankrupt the company.

But considering the effect of a single ruling on Bayer stock, it will take far less than 5,000 rulings to drive the company out of business for good.

Did you know… The moon is actually moving away from Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year.