By Pete Bianco

Probably by now you have heard the recent news story that media outlets across the globe lit up on Friday, August 10, 2018, when a jury unanimously decided Monsanto was guilty of manufacturing and selling a product that caused Dewayne Johnson’s cancer.

Dewayne Johnson is a former school groundskeeper who regularly used the popular herbicide Roundup for his job.

What’s more, the company knew its product could cause cancer and yet it intentionally hid that fact from Johnson and the public.Monsanto is a global chemical and seed company. They produce GMO seeds and the weed-killer Roundup.  

A Jury found Monsanto’s failure to warn the public of the harmful risks associated with using their product was a substantial factor in causing harm to Mr. Johnson who suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  

You can see excellent coverage of this issue from www.democracynow.org.

Agent Orange

A little history, in the 1960’s Monsanto was one of the manufacturers of the devastating herbicide Agent Orange used by the U.S. during the Vietnam War.  There it was used to destroy enemy cover and food crops. 

The US military, who commissioned Monsanto and Dow, among other chemical companies to create Agent Orange, knew it was highly toxic but because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ they were not overly concerned. They never considered a scenario in which US personnel would become contaminated with the herbicide. Monsanto claims that a causal connection linking Agent Orange to chronic disease in humans has not been established.  

The Veterans Association has recognized certain cancers including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other health problems as diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides used during military service. 

Both Roundup and Agent Orange are herbicides linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

There is a long-standing pattern of denial with companies like Monsanto. They deny their products are harmful before the evidence becomes clear to the public. All the while they know they are doing wrong but are working to conceal the facts. When they are finally found guilty they deny responsibility.

According to Mr. Johnson’s attorneys, this was the first time jurors were able to see internal company documents proving Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and Roundup could cause cancer.  Glyphosate is part of Roundup.  Roundup is a combined product of glyphosate plus a bunch of other chemicals that make glyphosate significantly more potent. He went on to say, “When a negative study comes out, the emails that circulate amongst Monsanto employees are, ‘How do we combat this? How do we fight this? How do we take this person out?’” Monsanto actually has a budget assigned to striking down scientific research that reveals the dangers of their products. 

According to The Guardian, Mr. Johnson was healthy and active before he got the cancer diagnosis in August 2014. In January, Mr. Johnson’s treating physician testified that more than 80% of his body was covered by lesions, and that he probably had but a few months to live. 

Bayer Buys Monsanto

Another recent news item is that Bayer pharmaceutical bought the company Monsanto, but is dropping the name Monsanto due to the negative associations people have with it.

This is another PR move to deceive the public. The Nazi’s relied heavily on PR (in those days they called it propaganda) and the German based company Bayer has disturbing Nazi connections in its past.  

Bayer and the Holocaust

Bayer ordered the testing of their pharmaceuticals to be carried out on prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.  In the Auschwitz files Bayer ordered 150 female prisoners from the camp commander for experiments with a new sleep-inducing drug.  Bayer employees responded to the camp commander “The experiments were performed. All test persons died. We will contact you shortly about a new shipment [of prisoners](…)”

Bayer says the company which exists today has nothing to do with its wartime counterpart. A spokesperson told the BBC: “Between 1925 and 1952, no company named Bayer existed, neither as a subsidiary of IG Farben nor as any other legal entity.”

Here we see another PR move, an attempt at creating a legal loophole to deny responsibly.

In 1925 Bayer was one of six chemical companies that merged to form IG Farben, the world’s largest chemical and pharmaceutical company. It was seized by the Allies after World War II and divided back into its constituent companies. 

Bayer was one of the four original chemical companies that survived the IG Farben’s liquidation.

Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor filed a lawsuit against Bayer in 1999. Mrs. Kor’s attorneys said Bayer representatives participated directly in medical experiments and also said Bayer paid Nazi officials for access to those interned in concentration camps and collaborated in experiments as a form of research and development.

In 1995 the head of Bayer, Helge Wehmeier, formally apologized to Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel for the company’s participation in Nazi Germany. The company has yet to issue a formal apology outside of that lecture.

Bayer Knowingly Sells HIV Contaminated Drug

In 2011 Bayer paid “tens of millions” of dollars to end a three-decade long scandal in which the company sold HIV-contaminated blood products to hemophiliacs, thousands of whom later died of AIDS.  

Bayer issued a statement “ Bayer has always behaved responsibly, ethically, and humanely to provide lifesaving products for the global hemophilia community.”

In late 1984, as Hong Kong hemophiliacs began testing positive for HIV, some doctors wondered whether Cutter (a division of Bayer) was sending “AIDS-tainted” medicine into less-developed nations.

But the company assured its distributor that the product posed “no severe hazard” and was the “same fine product we have supplied for years.”

While admitting no wrongdoing, Bayer and three other companies that made the concentrate have paid hemophiliacs about $600 million to settle more than 15 years of lawsuits accusing them of making a dangerous product.

Bayer stated “Decisions made nearly two decades ago were based on the best scientific information of the time and were consistent with the regulations in place. They cannot be judged on the information available today.”

According to MSNBC “Internal documents show that after this company positively absolutely knew they had a medication that was infected with the AIDS virus they took the product off the market in the US and then they dumped it in France, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The medicine is called Factor VIII.” It was an injection medicine used for hemophiliacs, who were mostly children born with an incurable disease.

‘’These are the most incriminating internal pharmaceutical industry documents I have ever seen,’’ said Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, who as director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group has been investigating the industry’s practices for three decades.

By examining the history of these two companies we can expect more deception, propaganda and denial from Monsanto/Bayer. Both Bayer and Monsanto have acted with malice. They do harm to people with no just cause or excuse. 

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