In Roundup Case, the Science Will Go on Trial First

In a San Francisco courtroom this month, a jury will be asked to weigh a complicated question: Did Roundup weedkiller cause a man’s cancer?

The jurors will assess the credibility of competing studies that delve into cell mutations, cancer epidemiology and genotoxicity. They’ll hear evidence purporting to show why California resident Edwin Hardeman’s exposure to Roundup was dangerous, and other analyses arguing it was perfectly safe.

But unlike in a prior trial brought against the herbicide’s maker, Bayer AG, the jurors won’t simultaneously hear allegations that the company hid dangers about its product from the public. Instead, they’ll take part in an unusual split trial focused first on the science, and then, only if they find the plaintiff’s claims valid, on the question of negligence.

A federal judge approved a request by the company for this slimmed-down trial, over the objection of the plaintiff’s lawyers, to let the jury evaluate the alleged dangers of Roundup without what he called the significant distraction of attacks on the company’s behavior.

The approach is the latest attempt by courts to resolve a long-running debate over how to ensure the fairest decisions in cases concerning complicated science. The results could influence hundreds of similar Roundup cases—and guide judges in other cases that hinge on science.

In Roundup Case, the Science Will Go on Trial First

Courts have grappled for decades to find the right balance of what scientific evidence jurors can see. On one hand, the threshold for admissible scientific evidence needs to be low enough to encourage consumers to bring legitimate grievances against makers of potentially harmful products. On the other hand, it needs to be high enough to prevent floods of frivolous lawsuits based on faulty science or bogus claims.

Judges have typically played a central role in the debate by screening expert witnesses at the outset of trial. But the level of expertise of the judges themselves varies, as does the leeway afforded them to decide what gets in or not.

At the federal level, judges follow a uniform standard for how to allow in expert witnesses and scientific evidence. States, however, have diverged in their approaches. New Jersey last year tightened expert-witness standards to help block what corporate defendants often deem “junk science.” Florida’s highest court, meanwhile, in October reversed a legislative proposal that would have aligned the state with the generally more stringent federal threshold.

Further complicating the issue: Science is often unsettled within the medical community, and the root causes of a disease are often unknown.

“If the science is not junk, but at a stage of knowledge that’s truly indeterminate, what do we do about that?” said Alexander Lemann, a professor at Marquette University Law School. “It’s a problem that’s not solved by having the judge be a more aggressive gatekeeper.”


  • 1974: Environmental Protection Agency first registers glyphosate, the primary chemical in Roundup, for use in the U.S. as Monsanto brings the product to market.
  • 2015: International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization unit, deems glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.
  • 2016: Bayer makes a play for Monsanto as the company faces a few hundred cases alleging harms from Roundup.
  • 2017: EPA most recently reaffirms glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
  • June 2018: Bayer closes its acquisition of Monsanto.
  • August 2018: San Francisco jury awards former groundskeeper $289.2 million in first Roundup trial.
  • October 2018: Judge reduces trial award to $78.5 million, maintains finding that Monsanto acted with malice. Decision is on appeal.

In the Roundup case, around 9,300 home gardeners, landscapers and agricultural workers have sued Bayer in the U.S., claiming the weedkiller causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. Bayer inherited the potential liability through its acquisition last summer of seed and pesticide maker Monsanto Co.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said for decades that glyphosate, the primary chemical in Roundup, is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization branch, designated glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” That kicked off a wave of litigation and regulatory scrutiny around the world.



First Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib: “We’re Going to Impeach The Motherf**ker”

After being sworn in on a Koran, America’s first Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib attended a party where she declared to her supporters, “We’re going to go in and impeach the motherf**ker.”

During a party in Washington DC last night, the Michigan Democrat said, “When your son looks at you and says momma look you won, bullies don’t win, and I said ‘baby they don’t’, because we’re gonna go in and impeach the motherf**ker.”

The audience reacted by screaming with delight.

Tlaib also called for Trump’s impeachment in an article for the Detroit Free Press yesterday.

Despite Tlaib’s enthusiasm for impeachment, which is shared by many members of the so-called “resistance,” the chances that it could lead to Trump being turfed out of office are minimal.

Even if the House votes to impeach Trump, it would require 67 senators to convict the president and remove him from office. With a Senate made up of 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats, this is virtually impossible.

Top Democrats like Nancy Pelosi also believe that impeachment could help turn Trump into a martyr and actually boost his re-election chances in 2020. Following efforts to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, Republicans actually lost seats in Congress.

Meanwhile, the left is almost salivating over Tlaib’s traditional Palestinian “thobe” and Ilhan Omar’s hijab, once again fetishizing a garment that for millions of women in the Middle East is a symbol of subjugation to an oppressive male patriarchy.


China Lands World’s First Lunar Rover On Dark Side Of The Moon

Five years after successfully landing its first rover on the moon, China’s space program took another giant leap forward on Thursday when it became the first to successfully land a lunar probe on the dark side of the moon (the side of the celestial body that perpetually faces away from the Earth).

According to Bloomberg, the Chang’e-4 lunar probe, named after the mythical Moon Goddess, landed at 10:26 am in Beijing and started transmitting the first pictures of the dark side of the moon’s surface. The probe had been circling the moon in an elliptical orbit since Sunday, after leaving the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 8.


Parking passes cost more than seats at first Clinton U.S. tour stop

Demand is so little in the Bill and Hillary Clinton tour that it actually costs more to park your car than to get in the door.

Fresh off two stops in Canada — which saw empty seats and coughing fits — the Clintons are heading to Sugar Land, Texas for a single stop before the new year.

Kind of sounds like her campaigning schedule in 2016.

A survey of StubHub shows tickets are going for as little as $10.82 for the 8pm show at the Smart Financial Centre.


Chinese scientist claims to have created ‘world’s first genetically edited babies’

A Chinese researcher claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies – twin girls whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

A US scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.

Many mainstream scientists think it’s too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have – an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the Aids virus.

Read more.


Pentagon Fails First Audit, Neocons Demand More Spending!

The Pentagon has finally completed its first ever audit and the results are as many of us expected. After spending nearly a billion dollars to find out what has happened to trillions in unaccounted-for spending, the long look through the books has concluded that only ten percent of all Pentagon agencies pass muster. I am surprised any of them did.

Even the Pentagon is not surprised by the failure of the audit. “We failed the audit. But we never expected to pass it,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Can we imagine any large US company subject to the prying eyes of the IRS being so unfazed by the discovery that its books have been so mis-handled?

As with all government programs, but especially when it comes to military spending, the failure of a program never leads to calls for funding reductions. The Pentagon’s failure to properly account for the trillions of taxpayer dollars shoveled in year after year only means, they say, that we need to send more money! Already they are claiming that with more resources – meaning money – they can fix some of the problems identified by the audit.

If you subsidize something you get much more of it, and in this case we are subsidizing Pentagon incompetence. Expect much more of it.

Outgoing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, warned against concluding that this mis-handling trillions of dollars should make us hesitant to continue sending trillions more to the Pentagon. The failed audit “should not be used as an excuse for arbitrary cuts that reverse the progress we have begun on rebuilding our strength and readiness,” he said.

The neocons concur. Writing in the Free Beacon, editor Matthew Continetti (who happens to be Bill Kristol’s son-in-law) warns that now is “the wrong time to cut defense.”

But I agree with the young neoconservative Continetti. I would never support cutting a penny of defense. However the Pentagon’s lost trillions have nothing to do with defense. That is money propping up the high lifestyles of those connected to the military-industrial complex.

Continetti and the neocons love to throw out bogeymen like China and Russia as excuses for more military spending, but in fact they are hardly objective observers. Look at how much the military contractors spend funding the neocon publications and neocon think tanks telling us that we need more military spending! All this money is stolen from the productive economy and diverted to enrich neocon cheerleaders at our expense.

Of course the real problem with the Pentagon and military spending in general is not waste, fraud, and abuse. It is not ten thousand dollar toilet seats or coffee mugs. The problem with military spending is the philosophy that drives it. If the US strategy is to maintain a global military empire, there will never be enough spending. Because there is never enough to control every corner of the globe. But if we are to return to a well-defended republic, military spending could easily be reduced by 75 percent while keeping us completely safe. The choice is ours!

This article first appeared at


Watch These Censored Videos As Technocrats Steal First Amendment

Check out these videos which have been banned from YouTube, and be sure to download and share them with everyone you know!

Now is the time to spread the articles and videos as Big Tech and the globalist elite ready their coup against President Trump.


FDA approves first medicine made from marijuana

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the country’s first drug derived from marijuana, a medication that treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy.

The drug, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is made of cannabidiol, or CBD, a component of marijuana that does not give users a high. It is given as an oil, and in clinical trials, it was shown to reduce the number of seizures by about 40 percent in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development.”


Tommy Robinson’s First Message From Prison As England Awakens

As we reported on Saturday, Fox News is now covering the unprecedented gag order UK officials placed on media to vainly keep the disappearance of Tommy Robinson hidden from the public.

In short, it’s a Soviet-style disappearance: the UK police arrested Robinson, the court ordered the press to not talk about it, and it’s quite likely that Robinson will die in prison given the previous death threats made against the outspoken journalist.

Despite the gag order, US legacy media is now reporting on this sensational story.

According to Fox News:

Sources with knowledge of Robinson’s case spoke on condition of anonymity in part because of fear they would be arrested for contempt. One told Fox that Robinson’s lawyer warned that, considering the presence of Muslim gang members in prison, a 13-month sentence was tantamount to a death sentence.

“Tommy’s lawyer said he will likely die in jail given his profile and previous credible threats, and the judge basically said he doesn’t care,” the source said. “He sentenced him to 13 months in prison.”

The head of UKIP says the gag order was beyond authoritarian.

“What kind of police state have we become?” tweeted U.K. Independence Party leader and European MP Gerard Batten.

“I am trying to recall a legal case where someone was convicted of a ‘crime’ which cannot be reported on.”

“Where he can be cast into prison without it being possible to report his name, offence, or place of imprisonment for fear of contempt of court,” he added.