Viewpoint: Letting juries settle scientific disputes puts us on ‘a dangerous path’

[In August 2018], Monsanto was ordered to pay American groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million …. Because a jury determined that Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup caused Johnson’s cancer.

…. I’m not here to debate the likelihood that Roundup caused Johnson’s cancer – the scientific jury is still out on that one. I’m also not here to get into whether Monsanto covered up evidence that glyphosate …. causes cancer. I’m here to make the point that juries should never make judgments about scientific questions.

[Editor’s note: Most experts say glyphosate does not cause cancer.

It can take years to develop the knowledge …. to assess scientific evidence …. from a field you have no experience with. Scientists rarely approach a research question, like “is Roundup carcinogenic?” out of context; they assess the causal evidence against a backdrop of previous results …. How can members of the general public be expected to catch up …. in a matter of days?

Related article:  Editorial: Boulder County rushed GMO ban without due diligence, broad farmer input

[A]sking juries to assess not only the validity of the evidence presented in court but the validity of the methods used to collect that evidence …. puts justice on a dangerous path …. Jury members don’t tend to question the source of evidence presented in a courtroom, as they understandably assume that it has already been validated.

Read full, original article: WHEN JURIES DECIDE ON THE SCIENCE, WE GET AUTISM LINKED TO VACCINES AND THE MONSANTO VERDICT

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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