Unsettled - Another Monsanto Roundup case heads to trial

 Three people suffering from cancer are set to face off against Monsanto in the latest courtroom battle over allegations that exposure to the company’s Roundup weed killer causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The trial will be the first to take place in the company’s former hometown, with jury selection set to start on March 24. (A previous trial in St. Louis was cancelled just hours before it was scheduled to begin due to a settlement agreement.)

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More than 50 pct of tested U.S. rivers, lakes, and ponds heavily polluted, research shows

More than 700,000 miles of America’s rivers, streams and creeks and more than 11 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs are so excessively polluted that they are classified as “impaired,” according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

The tally means that more than 50 percent of assessed river and stream miles and 55 percent of lake acres are so heavily polluted or otherwise impacted that they are not safe for swimming and fishing or as drinking water sources. The same is true for a quarter of assessed bay and estuary square miles, according to the report.

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A not so appetizing report on weed killer in our food

Gulp.

Researchers reported Tuesday that they found “widespread” contamination of common grocery store items with the controversial weed killing chemical called glyphosate, known popularly by the brand name Roundup.

In a test of 86 food products sampled from groceries in Des Moines, Iowa, more than half - 45 - of the products were found to contain what the researchers called “alarming” levels of glyphosate. Whole wheat breads contained the highest levels, with chickpeas and Quaker Oats also showing high levels, according to the report.

The pesticide-laced foods were purchased from Walmart, Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, Target and Natural Grocers, and were tested in a study commissioned by a group called The Detox Project. The project was funded by the California-based Rose Foundation.

"More than half the foods tested, a total of 45 foods out of 86 products, contained alarming levels of glyphosate, ranging from 12 parts per billion (ppb) in 'sprouted wholegrain bread' from Whole Foods to as high 889 ppb in Walmart’s brand chickpeas, to 1,040 ppb in Whole Food’s 365 Brand Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, to the highest level detected of 1,150 ppb in Hy-Vee’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread."

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Plaintiffs allege 3M is hiding documents in nationwide PFAS litigation

Chemical manufacturer 3M is allegedly hiding files that could shed light on the role that former 3M Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Lewis Lehr played years ago as the company was struggling internally to figure out how to deal with growing evidence that its toxic chemical compound PFOS was widespread in the blood of the general U.S. population.

According to a motion to compel filed Feb. 15 with the U.S. District Court in South Carolina by plaintiffs lawyers in sweeping multidistrict litigation, 3M has repeatedly failed to turn over Lehr’s files to the plaintiffs legal team despite multiple requests as part of court-ordered discovery.

Lehr “played a central role in business decisions related to investigating and reporting potential effects” associated with 3M’s PFOS products, the motion states. Lehr was CEO of 3M from 1979 to 1986 and was a member of its board of directors from 1974 to 1991.

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Only two out of 11 herbicide studies given to EU regulators deemed ‘reliable’

Only two out of a group of 11 industry studies given to European regulators in support of the re-approval of the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide are scientifically “reliable”, according to a new analysis of corporate-backed studies on the chemical glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and is not only the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide but also in hundreds of other products. It is extensively used by farmers in growing common food crops.

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EPA unveils new strategy to address US contamination of ‘forever’ chemicals

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced a “strategic roadmap” it said would help restrict a class of toxic chemicals from being released into the environment and accelerate the cleanup of existing contamination of “forever chemicals” that are associated with a range of human health dangers.

The news comes a day after the Guardian revealed an EPA data set that lists roughly 120,000 industrial sites around the country that may be, or may have been, handling PFAS chemicals. The data set includes facility locations and operation details, and was compiled by EPA researchers to help state and local officials work with the federal government in addressing contamination concerns.

The extent of the EPA list of facilities demonstrates that virtually no part of the US appears free from the potential risk of contamination with the chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

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Revealed: more than 120,000 US sites feared to handle harmful PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 120,000 locations around the US where people may be exposed to a class of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with various cancers and other health problems that is a frightening tally four times larger than previously reported, according to data obtained by the Guardian.

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EPA’s “scientific integrity” program lacks teeth, group alleges

Insiders at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have alleged dozens of violations of the agency's "scientific integrity" policy over the last few years, including complaints of political interference and tampering with chemical risk assessments, but nearly all the complaints have been ignored, according to an analysis conducted by a nonprofit group representing EPA employees.

Since 2017 there have been 68 allegations of scientific integrity violations inside the EPA, including 35 allegations filed between 2019 and mid-year 2021, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Seven complaints were filed between January and July of this year, according to EPA data obtained by PEER, which released the new report.

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Litigation against Syngenta grows; lawyers fight over evidence and trial dates

Syngenta AG is facing a growing number of U.S. lawsuits over allegations that its paraquat herbicide causes Parkinson’s disease, with a Fresno, California man pushing for an expedited trial that potentially would start within the next few months, and multiple plaintiffs’ lawyers jockeying for power and influence over future trial proceedings.

Plaintiff George Isaak used paraquat to treat weeds on orchard and vineyard property from 1964 through 2004, mixing, loading and spraying the pesticide routinely before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May of 2020, according to his lawsuit.

Isaak used a 200-gallon “spraying rig” on the 60-acre farm where he raised peaches, nectarines, almonds, pistachios, and grapes before retiring in 2005. Isaak, 84, now has such severe Parkinson’s symptoms that he has suffered several falls, finds it hard to speak, and is confined to a wheelchair, according to his lawyers.

Isaak attorney Mike Miller said his client has been left with “horrible” injuries from Parkinson’s.

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‘The harm to children is irreparable’: Ruth Etzel speaks out ahead of EPA whistleblower hearing

The US Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect children by ignoring poisons in the environment and focusing on corporate interests, according to a top children’s health official who will testify this week that the agency tried to silence her because of her insistence on stronger preventions against lead poisoning.

“The people of the United States expect the EPA to protect the health of their children, but the EPA is more concerned with protecting the interests of polluting industries,” said Ruth Etzel, former director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP). The harm being done to children is “irreparable”, she said.

A hearing will be held on 13 September in which several internal EPA communications will be presented as evidence, including an email in which EPA personnel discuss using press inquiries about Etzel as “an opportunity to strike” out against her. Among many witnesses to be called to testify are several former high-level EPA officials.

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