$2bn award against Monsanto: AFSA tasks FG on product use

The Food Sovereignty Coordinator Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Africa, has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency ban the use of Mosanto products, saying the recent judgment of Alameda County Superior Court jury in Oakland, California,  that awarded a couple $2 billion in punitive damages after concluding that sustained exposure on

Monsanto company’s popular roundup weed killer led to their cancer diagnoses, is a wake up call.

The chairperson of the organisation, Barr. Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, in a statement in Abuja said Mosanto and its partners’ modus operandi  in Nigeria, where they have their tainted products and businesses were not good for the users.

The jury in the said judgment accused the company of never having any interest in finding out whether Roundup is safe, while an Attorney for the couple, Brent Wisber said instead of Mosanto investing in sound science, they invested millions of dollars in attacking science that threatened their business agenda.

Orovwuje said, “This is the modus operandi of Mosanto and partners. They do this in Nigeria and other countries where they have their tainted products and businesses. Sharp and corrupt practice.

“We have these products in Nigeria and when we and groups like HOMEF speak up, they try to drown out our voices, but we will not keep silent.

“This is a wake up call for our Nigerian government to ban these tainted and risky products already. It is the health and lives of Nigerians we are talking about. the government must prefer people over profit.”

In the said case, the jury in Oakland said the couple will receive an additional $55 million for pain and suffering and to cover medical expenses.

The Alameda County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days before reaching a verdict.

Seventy-six-year-old Alva and 74-year-old Alberta Pilliod were said to have used Roundup for about 30 years for residential landscaping, which the jury believed played a “substantial factor” in their development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Alva was diagnosed in 2011; his wife, Alberta, received the same diagnosis four years later. They are both in remission.

Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, released a statement claiming that the couple had “long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma” and countered allegations that an active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer. Bayer said it plans to appeal Monday’s verdict.

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