Category Archives: economics

CAREY GILLAM – White Wash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, & the Corruption of Science

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Congratulations to Carey Gillam for receiving the prestigious Rachel Carson Book Award by the Society of Environmental Journalists, as well as the 2018 Independent Book Publishers Award.

1-aqfz2aL5Sw67eiCuU2Z8AA.jpegDewayne “Lee” Johnson with his two sons.

On Friday August 10, 2018, a jury in San Francisco’s Superior Court of California rendered an historic verdict in the civil trial of Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto, finding that Monsanto’s glyphosate based weedkillers, including Roundup, caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that the corporation failed to warn him of the health hazards from exposure. Additionally, the jury found that Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression, and that its weed killers contributed “substantially” to Mr Johnson’s terminal illness..”

The jury deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weedkillers. It ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million – $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages. Monsanto has said it would appeal the verdict.

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Johnson’s case, filed in 2016, was fast-tracked for trial, due to the severity of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system, that he alleges was caused by Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate herbicide.
A former pest control manager for a California county school system, Johnson, 46, applied the weedkiller up to 30 times per year.
Johnson was the first of more than 4 ,000 people suing Monsanto in state and federal courts around the country, claiming their cancers were caused by glyphosate-based Roundup. Johnson’s case was particularly significant, because a judge allowed his team to present scientific arguments. The verdict came a month after a federal judge ruled that cancer survivors, or relatives of the deceased, could bring similar claims forward in another trial. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide.

Over the course of the four-week trial, jurors heard testimony by statisticians, doctors, public health researchers and epidemiologists, who disagreed on whether glyphosate can cause cancer.
Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Johnson, said jurors for the first time had seen internal company documents “proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate, and specifically Roundup, could cause cancer.”
Jurors saw internal emails from Monsanto executives that demonstrated the corporation repeatedly ignored experts’ warnings, sought favorable scientific analyses, and helped to “ghostwrite” research that encouraged continued usage.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September 2017 concluded a decades-long assessment of glyphosate risks and found the chemical not likely carcinogenic to humans. But the World Health Organization’s cancer arm in 2015 classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
In a written statement, the company said it was “sympathetic to Mr Johnson and his family” but it would “continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use”.
“Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews – and conclusions by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world – support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr Johnson’s cancer,” it added.
Pharmaceutical group, Bayer, completed it’s $66 billion takeover of Monsanto in June.

In this edition of Forthright Radio, originally broadcast in March 2018, and then rebroadcast in late June as the trial was about to begin, researcher and author, Carey Gillam, discusses what her years of investigation reveals about Glyphosate and how science is done in determining the safety of agricultural products.

images.pngOur guest today is veteran journalist, researcher and author, Carey Gillam, who has more than twenty-five years’ experience in the news industry covering corporate America. Since 1998, Carey Gillam’s work has focused on digging into the big business of food and agriculture. As a former senior correspondent for Reuters’ international news service, and a current contract researcher and freelance writer, she specializes in finding the story behind the spin — uncovering both the risks and rewards of the evolving new age of agriculture. Her areas of expertise include biotech crop technology, agrochemicals and pesticide product development, and the environmental impacts of American food production. She is currently Research Director for the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know. Her book, WHITE WASH: THE STORY OF A WEED KILLER, CANCER, AND THE CORRUPTION OF SCIENCE, is published by Island Press.

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cited with permission from https://peperperspective.com/2016/12/01/our-food-is-not-the-same-as-50-years-ago/

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cited with permission from https://peperperspective.com/2016/12/01/our-food-is-not-the-same-as-50-years-ago/

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Some of the articles cited in this interview are:

Farmers vs. Monsanto: Glyphosate Showdown Comes to U.S. Court in San Francisco https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/farmers-vs-monsanto-glyphosate-showdown-comes-us-court-san-francisco

Roundup Causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Scientist Says in Federal Court   https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/roundup-causes-non-hodgkin-lymphoma-scientist-says-federal-court

Monsanto’s Cancer Fight Judge Pictures Weed Killer Showers      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-14/monsanto-judge-pictures-weed-killer-showers-amid-cancer-debate

Federal judge halts Monsanto warning label requirement in California      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/27/federal-judge-halts-monsanto-warning-label-requirement-in-california-687912

Glyphosate gets EU renewal      https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/2017/11/28/glyphosate-stays-in-the-eu-picture-032826

Here’s the Worst, Anti-Science Idea of the Week from the Republican Congress https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/lamar-smith-united-nations-glyphosate-monsanto-roundup-congress/

Dicamba drift puts natural areas at risk, environmental groups warn     http://www.stltoday.com/news/science/dicamba-drift-puts-natural-areas-at-risk-environmental-groups-warn/article_8e4b0c3e-11dd-5bc0-9871-e16c5a28fb59.html

‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/catastrophe-as-frances-bird-population-collapses-due-to-pesticides

Senators Rebuke EPA Plan To Let Kids Handle Pesticides Again      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senators-rebuke-epa-plan-to-let-kids-handle-pesticides-again_us_5aa943f5e4b0f7a689ce9b11

Scientists Sue EPA Over ‘Attempt To Delegitimize Science’       https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scientists-sue-epa-scott-pruitt_us_5a68a218e4b0dc592a0e87f0

Scott Pruitt’s First Year Set The EPA Back Anywhere From A Few Years To 3 Decades     https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pruitt-one-year_us_5a610a5ce4b074ce7a06beb4

George Monbiot – OUT OF THE WRECKAGE: A NEW POLITICS FOR AN AGE OF CRISIS

In his latest book, OUT OF THE WRECKAGE: A NEW POLITICS FOR AN AGE OF CRISIS, and drawing from many decades of a very interesting life in many different parts of the world, George Monbiot explores the question, how can we rebuild our society, outlining how both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganized from the bottom up.

1170913-George-Monbiot-Quote-Progress-is-measured-by-the-speed-at-which-we.jpgOUT OF THE WRECKAGE: A NEW POLITICS FOR AN AGE OF CRISIS is published by Verso.

george-monbiot-409985.jpgThese are some of his articles cited in this interview:

How a violent land seizure story led to my ‘death’ in Brazil  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/31/land-seizure-death-brazil-george-monbiot

America’s new revolutionaries show how the left can win  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/11/america-left-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-new-york-primary

Donald Trump was right. The rest of the G7 were wrong    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/13/trump-nafta-g7-sunset-clause-trade-agreement

I have prostate cancer. But I am happy   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/13/prostate-cancer-happy-diagnosis-operation

Through my cancer, I have found the key to a good life     https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/08/my-prostate-cancer-surgery-key-to-good-life

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Henry Giroux – American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism

In this edition of Forthright Radio, originally broadcast on June 6, 2018, our guest is McMaster University Professor, Henry Giroux, who has been our guest numerous times over the years. His latest book, which just came out from City Lights Publishing, is American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism. It is A far-ranging critique of the rise of authoritarianism and white nationalism in the US, and the consequences for democracy.

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Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest. He is a prolific writer of books, sometimes more than one a year, and articles which appear in numerous online and print publications, as well as scholarly journals. His books include: AMERICA AT WAR WITH ITSELF; DISPOSABLE FUTURES: VIOLENCE IN THE AGE OF SPECTACLE; Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror (Paradigm, 2010); Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, THE VIOLENCE OF ORGANIZED FORGETTING and many, many others.

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The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.” Hannah Arendt

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James Redford – Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies film maker, James Redford, discusses his film, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution.  It will be opening the BZN International Film Festival on June 7 in the Crawford Theater at the Emerson Center for Arts & Culture at 7pm, and he will be attending.

ac17-DEC-Clean-energy.jpgJames Redford embarks on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier across the US. Unlikely entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, TX to Buffalo, NY reveal pioneering clean energy solutions while James’ discovery of how clean energy works, and what it means at a personal level, becomes the audiences’ discovery too.

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Reaching well beyond a great story of technology and innovation, “Happening” explores issues of human resilience, social justice, embracing the future, and finding hope for our survival.

On June 8, at 10a.m. in the Hager Auditorium of the Museum of the Rockies, he’ll be joining area luminaries in a discussion, Designing for a Clean Energy Revolution in Montana: Design & Construction Experts on the Leading Edge.

Lindsay Schack of Love Schack Architecture is one of the first certified designers in Montana for the Passive House Institute US. She is a licensed architect in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, an adjunct instructor at MSU’s School of Architecture and founding board member of Passive House Rocky Mountains.
Lindsey Love of Love Schack Architecture is an expert in natural materials and construction methods. She built her own hybrid straw bale home in Teton Valley, Idaho and strives to coordinate healthy, holistic design in high performance building assemblies.
Kyle MacVean of Harvest Solar is proud to get up and work for the sun every day. He’s worked in the solar industry for over 10 years and lived in an off-grid, straw-bale house for six years—an experience which has taught him to never take energy for granted.
Susan Bilo serves on the Montana Renewable Energy Association’s Board of Directors and heads Green Compass Sustainability Consulting where she teaches and advocates for natural resource conservation, energy and water efficiency, electric vehicles, and solar-powered net zero energy buildings.
Jaya Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., LEED AP, teaches courses on Environmental Control Systems at the Montana State University School of Architecture and has over 15 years experience in building energy modeling, energy codes, and assessment of commercial and residential energy performance.

Christi Cooper: YOUTH V GOV

In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we speak with Bozeman resident, Christi Cooper, about her years of work documenting the increasingly powerful movement of young people, who are challenging the U.S. Government and the fossil fuel industry for violation of their Constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment to Life, Liberty and Property.Our-Childrens-Trust-Lawsuit-889x610.jpg

Her film, a work in progress, YOUTH V. GOV, screens at the BZN International Film Festival on June 9 at the Willson Auditorium at 7:45 p.m.  Victoria Barrett, a 19-year-old college student from White Plains, NY, who is one of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the U.S. government in the landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit, will also be attending for a discussion afterwards.

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In this groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit, guided by Julia Olson, their lead attorney, 21 American youth take the US government and the fossil fuel industry to court for creating a climate emergency that threatens the future of the youngest generations.

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This is not the typical climate change film. YOUTH V GOV brings a new perspective not yet explored. And in the end, YOUTH V GOV will activate youth, millennials, and adults to engage as citizens and to lean heavily on the pillars of democracy that we rely on for the future of our country and the world.

Signe Taylor: IT’S CRIMINAL

In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we interview Signe Taylor about her documentary, IT’S CRIMINAL. It will be screened at the BZN International Film Festival in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies on Saturday, June 9 at 2:45 pm. There will be a discussion afterwards with some of the women – both student & inmate – as well as Patti Hernandez and Signe Taylor.

movies_signe-taylor_photo-by-charleen-music-2.jpgIn IT’S CRIMINAL, Signe documents Sophomore Dartmouth College students in Ivy Schweitzer’s Women and Gender Studies class, who interact with women inmates at the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.

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With the astute guidance of Patti Hernandez, the students and the inmates discover their common humanity, learn empathy and work together to create and perform a play.

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Gale Anne Hurd MANKILLER

GALE NEW HEAD SHOT.jpgIn this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, Gale Anne Hurd tells us about her feature length film, MANKILLER, which recounts the life of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief in 1985.

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It is the story of an American hero. One who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone who humbly defied the odds and overcame insurmountable obstacles to fight injustice and gave a voice to the voiceless. And yet few people know her name.

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Although beset with numerous health problems over many years, Wilma Mankiller persevered in breaking the cycle of poverty among her people and forged a new economic model to bring health and prosperity to the Cherokee Nation.

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She was the embodiment of the Cherokee principle of Gadugi – in a positive manner that benefits the entire community.

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MANKILLER Centerpiece Screening at the Bozeman International Film Festival

WHEN:  Saturday June 9th, 8:15pm

WHERE:  The Crawford Theater at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture;  111 South Grand Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715

A Q&A with Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Director/Producer Valerie Red-Horse Mohl to follow.

Discounted individual ticket offer here: https://bit.ly/2IAdRfB