Costco Dumps Roundup As Scientific Fraud Continually Spotlighted


Costco warehouses will no longer be selling Bayer AG’s lawsuit-burdened Roundup glyphosate formulation. After pressure from consumers, against a backdrop of Monsanto’s now-public scientific fraud and growing lawsuits alleging the glyphosate-based herbicide has been responsible for a range of ill-health conditions, Costco has withdrawn the product. The active public now hopes to demand both Home Depot and Lowes remove Bayer’s product from their shelves in what would likely be a crushing blow to the company’s bottom line.  

Bayer is already feeling the sting of its first multimillion dollar landmark legal loss from August 2018. The jury found Monsanto failed to warn plaintiff​ Dwayne Johnson of the health hazards of exposure also ruling that they were responsible for “negligent failure” and knew or should have known that their product was “dangerous”. Johnson, a 46-years-old father, developed a severe form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while working as a California school groundskeeper. His case was a bellwether for more than 10,000 lawsuits who have claims pending against Monsanto and its herbicide product. At the time, news of the verdict wiped 12 billion euros ($14 billion) off the German drugmaker’s market value – about 20 percent of the total value of its Monsanto acquisition. In December Bayer announced plans to cut 12,000 out of 118,200 jobs worldwide, or roughly 1 in 10 jobs, in hopes of cutting costs. 

2016 saw the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate the herbicide publishing its Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential concluding that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in humans. A year later The International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC) issued its report finding glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Who are we to believe? New research by Charles Benbrook, PhD published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe is a major black eye for Bayer, Monsanto and the EPA. Benbrook’s paper titled How did the US EPA and IARC reach diametrically opposed conclusions on the genotoxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides? revels damning results. Benbrook found that while IARC referenced only peer-reviewed studies and reports available in the public literature, the EPA relied heavily on unpublished regulatory studies commissioned by pesticide manufacturers. The EPA cited 109 total assays not included in the IARC report, 87% of which were regulatory studies commissioned by industry, and all but one was negative. In addition, IARC’s analysis placed considerable weight on formulated glyphosate-based herbicides. Put simply, IARC studied the real life products as they are bought and used off the shelves by consumers. The EPA placed little to no weight on those formulated products instead focusing on just glyphosate and willfully ignoring Roundup’s synergistic [toxic] formulation.

Benbrook’s findings should both shock and alert humanity to the ‘profits over people’ agenda still in play with Bayer’s product. Monsanto, aided by US regulatory agencies, has employed Big Tobacco’s scientific manipulation on new generations yielding arguably more harm when calculating the toll of formulated Roundup and glyphosate-based products on the collective health of countries, along with their respective soil, air and water.   

A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association echoed both Benbrook’s recent research title and findings. Why Review Articles on the Health Effects of Passive Smoking Reach Different Conclusions looked at reviews published from 1980 to 1995 whose purpose was to analyze the scientific evidence that passive smoking was associated with one or more ill-health outcomes. The researchers found that the conclusions of the scientific review articles were strongly associated with the affiliations of their authors. Seventy-four percent of the review articles that found passive smoking was not harmful to health were written by authors with tobacco industry affiliations.

Another Big Tobacco-centered study looked at how the print media covered passive smoking between 1981 and 1994 and concluded the following:

Although research on the harmful effects of passive smoking accumulated between 1981 and 1994, lay press coverage of the research maintained that the science was controversial. Few research studies were cited to support the industry’s claim that passive smoking is not harmful to health. However, tobacco industry representatives who were critical of the research methods used to study the health effects of passive smoking were frequently quoted.

Much like Bayer-Monsanto, Johnson and Johnson is also going through a costly battle over its cancer-causing, asbestos-containing talc products. Recently being denied their bid to overturn a $4.7 billion baby powder cancer verdict, Johnson and Johnson also faces an uphill battle against the corporate crimes and scientific fraud of their past.

Court discovery documents now show that with regulatory pressure coming down fast upon Johnson and Johnson’s asbestos-containing talc powder at the time, a J&J applied research director in a “strictly confidential” 1975 memo to managers of the baby products division stated:

Our current posture with respect to sponsorship of talc safety studies has been to initiate studies only as dictated by confrontation. This philosophy, so far, has allowed us to neutralize or hold in check data already generated by investigators who question the safety of talc. The principle advantage for this operating philosophy lies in the fact that we minimize the risk of possible self-generation of scientific data which may be politically or scientifically embarrassing.

Continual generations have now endured shorter lifespans and limited health in the name of corporate profits. Instead of putting humanity first, the history books are littered with late lessons from early warnings on blockbuster corporate products that have enjoyed little oversight or caution when ill-health effects are known. In the past, pioneers for truth fought against strong headwinds to take on industry titans with little fanfare, media support or momentum from greater society. The information age has changed the battlegrounds in favor of the individual and ideas aligned with justice. Personal choice for our families and communities can be made with continually new, vital information in near-realtime. Humanity no longer needs to wait until the notoriously slow churning of government regulatory agencies right the wrongs their predecessors allowed.

Viral social media ideas and relentless citizen journalism are the torches and pitchforks of the people. A time is fast approaching when no amount of corporate money will turn back the tide of distaste or silence the true nature of greed and human injury that has been allowed to operate in the corporate-sponsored shadows. As we are currently unraveling the scientific fraud by companies like Johnson & Johnson and global collectives such as Big Pharma and Big Agriculture, we see the same limited and tired playbook being foisted upon humanity. Bayer’s current legal troubles and public pushback are symbols of a rising consciousness. The season to unravel and make public corporate wrongdoing is upon us.             


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