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'Victory for Farmers' as Jury Awards Grower $265 Million in Damages From Drift of Monsanto's Dicamba

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/17/victory-farmers-jury-awards-grower-265-million-damages-drift-monsantos-dicamba

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If this award holds up in appeals court, where it is surely headed, the tort reform groups will be at it again. Trying to limit awards of this kind.

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Dicamba = Agent Orange without the Orange.

The orange dye was added to check the ‘drift’ so as to be more effective. Not satisfied with chemical warfare on Vietnam, The US begin poisoning the peasants, their food supply and forest of Cambodia and Laos. Neither had so much as thrown a rock at the Americans. They were just ‘collateral’ damage, like American Peasants.

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Great news! If it holds up, it will be a Sea Change

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By the time Monsanto & BASF finish challenging these awards with teams of lawyers that look like soldiers on parade, the rule of injustice will result in a final award of $34.23. All in a good days work for the servants of power. What could possibly be wrong with capitalism?

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I don’t know enough about the specifics of this case, but here are my general comments. On one hand, I’m ecstatic that Big Ag lost, and I’m sure they did something wrong and in general I’m sure we use way too many pesticides and herbicides and I want to see a move to 100% organic farming in the US as soon as possible. But if the assessment of harm to the other farm was only a portion of the $265 million and the rest was to ‘punish’ Bayer, I do have a few problems with this approach:

  1. It is more vulnerable to appeal
  2. Lawyers who get a percentage of the judgement often in my mind don’t deserve the kind of obscene compensation they get.
  3. (most importantly) The companies often don’t give a shit and won’t change their practices - they just view the lawsuits as a cost of doing business.

What I’d rather see instead of juries punishing businesses this way is to have victims paid all the money they deserve plus a little extra and then an actual regulatory change result from the lawsuit (and if need be, company employees espeically high up going to jail). I don’t know how to setup a system to do this, but we need to start thinking out of the box and soon as humans, we are definitely pushing the envelope on all matters environmental and the kick-back has a long time delay in it and we aren’t going to like it when it reaches its full force.

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“Mike Bloomberg belittles farming, factory jobs as having less ‘gray matter’ in video”

ttps://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/16/michael-bloomberg-video-belittles-farming-factory-/

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100% organic, and save the bees.

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This is very good news and i hope that bayer is sent to bankrupt Hell never to return .
However the only permanent solution to stopping these chemical companies ,is to have farmers that educate themselves and refuse to buy their poison. Good luck with that !

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Corporate ag has never been a good neighbor. Crop poisoning is just one of many costs other farmers (and the public) feel that corporations externalize.

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“Seeds of deception” by Jeffrey M Smith.

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This is not an aberration of capitalism

But the toxic fruit of its logic

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Hi dara:
Since corporations are “people,” and so are CEOs, maybe until this is all settled-----maybe the CEO should have to sit in jail as a down payment for the disaster. When anyone ruins the food chain, all creatures on Earth are at risk.
If the CEO resigns, then the next one takes over, if no one volunteers then I guess the BIG stock holders get in line. for sitting in jail
It is very sad that the big corporations have enough money to hang on and escape anything, even though these corporations are responsible.If big corporations keep escaping any responsibility for killing the Earth and the creatures and people on it------then the legal system is a joke, and who could blame those who are dissed by both laws and those who destroy proper and the planet----who could blame them for exacting revenge on all the going scot free people of business.
Whether money wise, or sitting in jail wise, or a combination of both—if the corporations can keep selling and stalling—like Exxon did because they never cleaned up the mess of the Exxon Valdez… no justice = no peace. When pretend people are more important than a people and their nation--------then we really don’t have a nation at all--------in a way, we all become Frakensteins to experimentation of our food, soil , land and air------all of which is totally UNAmerican! : (

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“Stick it to the man with a little toxic dust in his hand.”

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Happy Anniversary PoliticsCoroner.

Yes!! I love your idea about higher up employees going TO JAIL… that would mean that ….HIGHER UPS in the OIL AND GAS industry SHOULD go to jail also FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY… since they knew that what they were doing, was causing climate change and … they actually tried to cover it up FOR DECADES …to the public… period… IN THE FUTURE… or what is left of it… I would never tell anyone I was “an oil man/woman” …. you probably wouldn’t be safe.

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(h)ttps://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/gates-foundation-ties-with-monsanto-under-fire-from-activists/

Verdicts like this do give one hope but Bayer/Monsanto have deep pockets and few farmers have the resources to fight them. 3.6 million acres damaged, (that were reported), while Monsanto says “There was no intention to go out there and harm anybody.” (and while we hope that was true, their track record is not the best) We know, without doubt, the real intention was to make as much money as possible and if things went bad, blame the farmers for not following instructions— instructions which are all but impossible to follow under any conditions other than in a greenhouse. It is quite telling that farmers who themselves had no intention to use Dicamba, still felt the need to buy resistant seeds only to protect against the drift problems they knew would occur. Bayer/Monsanto didn’t care, they were selling plenty of seed, that’s all that really mattered.

Monsanto’s MO was always to sue their own customers when they finally got it that THEY were the “cash-cows” in Monsanto’s dire push for cash…

And I wondered why ANY company would want to actually buy that sort of trouble. Well, I guess Bayer has answered that question for me: They too, are sue-the-rubes types. Too bad Bayer are the only ones I know of, who produce plain old aspirin, rather than illness-inducing imitations like Tylenol.

Good suggestions. Before reading your comment, I was going to comment that the 265 million is nothing but a slap on the wrist to Monsanto. They probably almost passed out with relief when the verdict was read. It doesn’t come close to compensating farmers for all the damage they have caused. To Monsanto 265 million is just part of the cost of doing business. It is nothing to them so it is possible they may just go ahead and pay up and move on. However, it is more likely they will appeal if for no other reason than to discourage future efforts.

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