[A] California jury awarded two hundred and eighty nine million dollars …. to a former groundskeeper for a California school district who claims that he contracted non-Hodgkins lymphoma from exposure to a commercial preparation of glyphosate …. The jury decision elicited extensive commentaries from experts and non-experts, both pro and con ….
First of all, let’s point out that this trial dealt with occupational exposure to glyphosate and had nothing to do with trace amounts of the chemical in our food supply. Nevertheless, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) …. took the opportunity to …. publish a report about traces of glyphosate in oat products and suggested that these were a threat to health.
The highest concentration EWG found was 760 parts per billion. That would mean that a small child eating 100 grams of the cereal would consume 0.076 milligrams of glyphosate ….The 0.076 mg consumed is 1/66th of this …. By comparison, Health Canada has set a maximum residue level of glyphosate in oats at 15,000 parts per billion!
[S]cience is on the side of glyphosate’s benefits outweighing its risks, but emotion is on the side of the plaintiff. And we have often seen that emotion trumps science. Furthermore, the defendant in this lawsuit, Monsanto, was essentially challenged to prove that Mr. Johnson’s lymphoma was not caused by glyphosate. That is an impossible task.
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