World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN experts say Monsanto ruling is a first step

UN experts say Monsanto ruling is a first step to “victory for human rights”

GENEVA (15 August 2018) – Two UN human rights* experts welcomed the decision by a California court awarding $289 million compensation to school groundkeeper Mr. Dewayne Johnson after a jury found that the company did not place a warning label on its weedkillers that widespread use could cause terminal cancer.

On 10 August 2018, the jury in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco found Monsanto liable for Mr. Johnson’s cancer and ordered that the company pay $39 million in compensation and $250 million in punitive damages. The decision reflected the 2015 assessment that glyphosate (a component of Monsanto’s principal weedkiller product) was classified by the World Health Organization as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

“The ruling recognises the potential causal relations between cancer and Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkillers, including RoundUp, and the company’s negligence by failing to inform users of cancer risks. This decision is a significant recognition of the human rights of victims, and the responsibilities of chemical companies,” the experts declared.

“Unsafe and excessive use of chemicals has negative impacts on a wide range of human rights including rights to life, food, water, health as well as to a healthy environment,” said Ms. Hilal Elver, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

Ms. Elver submitted a report to the Human Rights Council in 2017, compiled in collaboration with Mr. Tuncak, which asserted that a significant amount of scientific research confirmed the adverse effects of pesticides, proving a definitive link between exposure and human health. Harm to the ecosystem also presented a challenge, exacerbated by systematic denials based on research funded by the agroindustry, of the gravity and even the reality of harm inflicted by these chemicals.

According to the court decision “internal company documents" demonstrate that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate, and specifically Roundup, could cause cancer.

The plaintiff Mr. Johnson suffers from terminal cancer and doctors say he is unlikely to live beyond 2020.

“We regret that the ruling came too late as Mr. Johnson is suffering from terminal cancer. No monetary compensation is adequate for his life. We express our deepest condolences for his pain and suffering and praise his courage and unwavering will to fight for his rights,” the experts said.

The verdict comes just weeks before the release of a report on the rights of agricultural workers that Ms. Elver will present in New York to the United Nations General Assembly.

“This decision, although significant on its own, will be appealed, and it is not final. It is a substantial warning to agro-businesses and chemical companies to avoid such harmful results and to put in place precautionary measures when in doubt about the impacts of products and put human health and rights before profit,” the experts added.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC