What Monsanto's Roundup Trials Teach Us About Justice in America

| 7/13/2020 10:05:00 AM

Photo by Vitor Dutra Kaosnoff from Pixabay

Over the last year and a half, we have watched the slow legal grind against Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup make tremendous progress (see my previous reporting for Mother Earth News). Perhaps most shocking, Bayer has now offered to settle the class action lawsuits with a lump sum of $10 billion. These trials are a major victory for the health and rights of people, and great news amid an ever chaotic world.

Today, however, I don’t want to talk too much about the Roundup trials themselves. Instead, let's take a deeper look at what the Roundup trials show us about justice in America. And what these trials can teach us moving forward.

You Have a Right to Be Heard

The first lesson that the Roundup trials teach us, is that you legally have a right to be heard. And in this instance, I am not talking about protesting in the streets. Anyone who has been wronged can raise charges against another in court, whether the wrongdoer is a corporation like Monsanto or Bayer, or the government itself.

If you have a valid complaint against someone else, and file your lawsuit properly, your legal rights as a citizen can bring them to court to answer your complaint. (And if they fail or refuse to do so, you could win by default.)

What the Roundup Trials Say

One of the most important lessons the Roundup Trials teach is that your right to be heard may best be exercised in the courts. How many protests against Monsanto over GMOs and pesticides have there been around the world? Certainly a lot. I have taken part in a few of them myself. And the net result of those protests? Sadly, not very much.

However, in August of 2018, a Dewayne (The Groundskeeper) Johnson, took a stand against Roundup — and won! Now, 2 years later, as a result of his stand, tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer over their Roundup product. This flurry of lawsuits has forced them to come into court and hear the complaints against them. Furthermore, these trials eventually forced them to pay what is now billions in damages, not to mention the legal fees.

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