The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Consumer Group Responds to $289 Million Ruling Against Agricultural Giant Monsanto


Last Friday, a San Francisco jury awarded Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, $289 million in a lawsuit against agricultural giant Monsanto after Johnson was diagnosed with a terminal illness after his exposure to toxic herbicides featured in Monsanto's popular weed killing product, Roundup. Johnson's is the first of hundreds of cancer-patient cases against Monsanto.

Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement that Monsanto will appeal the decision "and continue to vigorously defend this product..." In response, David Norton, Lead Digital Strategist at SumOfUs, an international consumer group, said the following:

"While we applaud the verdict made in support of Dewayne Johnson against Monsanto, it is shocking that it took a man's terminal illness to garner attention and support surrounding the dangers of herbicides like glyphosate in Monsanto products.

"Over the past several years, our organization has worked to spread awareness about the dangers of chemicals like glyphosate. Despite the fact that Monsanto has consistently denied that glyphosate-based herbicides cause cancer, the multitude of stories like Dewayne Johnson's suggest the exact opposite.

"We congratulate Johnson's legal team for a case well fought and send our utmost support to Dewayne Johnson and his family during this difficult time."

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy. And we're not afraid to hold them to account when they don't. Barely a day goes by without a fresh corporate scandal making headlines. From polluting the environment to dodging taxes - when left unchecked, corporations don't let anything stand in the way of bigger profits. In an age of multinational companies that are bigger and richer than some countries, it can be easy to feel powerless. But there is a chink in their armor. The biggest corporations in the world rely on ordinary people to keep them in business. We are their customers, their employees, and often their investors. When we act together, we can be more powerful than they are. Together, our community of millions act as a global consumer watchdog - running and winning campaign