The 2nd cancer victim in a year to win a victory in court against Monsanto is pointing to a flood of similar lawsuits. New German owner Bayer may be in line for some pay back for past deeds related to both companies.
In September 2016, Bayer announced its intent to acquire Monsanto for $66 billion. After gaining US and EU regulatory approval, the sale was completed on June 7, 2018. They may have purchased themselves into a firestorm of law suits. Is this payback for Bayer and Monsanto’s sinful Corporate history?
During WWII Bayer, which began in 1863, was part of the six firm I.G. Farben consortium headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. At the time, I.G. Farben was the largest company in Europe and the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
It is notable that bombardiers hitting Frankfurt during WWII were instructed to spare the I.G. Farben headquarters from bombs. Even during the massive bombing sorties on Frankfurt, the headquarters never suffered any damage. After the allied victory, the undamaged headquarters were used by the allies as the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Command.
I.G. Farben was notoriously the company that manufactured Zyklon B which was the cyanide based pesticide used in the Nazi gas chamber showers as part of the final solution.
I.G. Farben then disappeared in 1953 after the war- partitioned back into Bayer and Hoescht and two other consortium members. A sort of reverse engineering deception designed to avoid prosecution for war crimes.
Monsanto, began in St. Louis, Missouri in 1901, with saccharine. By the 1940’s it was manufacturing herbicides. One of its herbicides, 2,4-D was combined with another chemical to make Agent Orange during the Vietnam war.
Monsanto was also known for its terminator seeds which could not be used at the end of a season for next years crops, meaning you had to replenish them with Monsanto each year.
Monsanto was also one of the first to launch the controversial GMO crops (genetically modified organism or genetically engineered) in 1987. However, controversy seems to be a continuous theme with Monsanto.
The company once manufactured products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) used in milk producing cows. Each one of which sparked its own separate firestorm of activist campaigns.
Not to outdo itself, in 1976, Monsanto launched the glyphosate based herbicide Roundup– which is now being implicated with cancer.
Shares in Germany based Bayer have fallen 12% after a 2nd U.S. jury ruled that the Monsanto manufactured, glyphosate based Roundup weed killer caused cancer to 70 year old home gardener, Edwin Hardeman.
The first case was awarded school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages for his terminal non-Hodgkins lymphoma which was later reduced to $78.5 million. Bayer plans to appeal it.
An award amount in the Hardeman case has yet to be determined, but the real problem is that it opens the door to quite a few more law suits. Already 9,000 more are pending.
Analysts believe the total cost of settling with plaintiffs in these cases could easily reach as high as $10 billion. The stock’s drop on Wednesday marked its biggest intraday loss in 16 years and cut $9.1 billion from its valuation. In addition, if its stock continues to fall, Bayer could become a target for activists or even a takeover. One activist investor, Elliott, already holds a small stake in Bayer.
While it is encouraging to see these Corporations, responsible for harming so many people in their conscious less pursuit of profits get their due, it does not restore the lives of those now living with cancer from the use of Monsanto’s product.
The background to I. G. Farben and the politics of cancer are covered in detail in the book World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17 by G. Edward Griffin. An eye opener on modern medicine and its connection to the ultra rich and politics that may change your view of modern medicine and its tactics forever.
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