Dewayne Johnson, the former groundskeeper who once spent his days spraying Monsanto’s controversial weedkiller glyphosate on the school grounds where he worked, has many regrets about his time on the job, first and foremost the fact that he has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
“I’ve been going through a lot of pain,” said Johnson, a father of three according to a new article in The Guardian. “It really takes everything out of you … I’m not getting any better.”
Aside from his own cancer diagnosis and suffering, he always wishes he never would have sprayed the potentially harmful chemical all over the grounds that he worked, especially where children are present.
According to the IARC of the World Health Organization, the chemical is capable of causing cancer, an assertion they made in spring 2015.
But Monsanto, as is par for the course, is once again denying the link, as part of a case that has already sent shockwaves through the worlds of groundskeeping and agriculture.
Johnson’s Lawyers: Monsanto has “Fought Science” and Bullied Scientists
Also mentioned in the article was Johnson’s lawyers’ opposition to the alleged safety declarations that have been made by government organizations on Monsanto’s chemicals.
While the EPA has approved glyphosate and Roundup, the latter of which is a more potent chemical cocktail with the former as its main ingredient, the jury is still out to say the least on the safety of these chemicals, especially in light of a recent scandal of alleged collusion with an EPA official to “kill” further safety studies according to Monsanto.
Johnson’s lawyers argued in court that the company has “fought science” over the years and worked to “bully” researchers who have raised concerns about the health risks of glyphosate and Roundup.
In Johnson’s case, he stated that being exposed to the chemicals at work was “kind of unavoidable” due to drift, even though he wore extensive protective gear while spraying according to The Guardian‘s article.
“You were getting it on your face everyday,” he said.
He added that he had perfect skin before working the groundskeeping job, saying that the weedkiller residue “got on everything” during his time at work.
Now, he may only have months to live according to doctors.
Monsanto Denies Glyphosate Caused Johnson’s Cancer
With thousands of similar claims against Monsanto pending in court, it goes without saying that Johnson and his peers’ lawsuits represent one of the biggest existential threats to both the reputation and business of Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) in the coming months and years.
Monsanto had the following to say in response to The Guardian: “We have empathy for anyone suffering from cancer, but the scientific evidence clearly shows that glyphosate was not the cause.”
But as shown by Johnson’s lawyers, Monsanto internal emails have reportedly revealed their “repeated efforts” to ignore expert warnings while “ghostwriting” positive papers and seeking to control the narrative about the science of these chemicals.
In Johnson’s case, the evidence is on display for all to see. Something caused his health to rapidly deteriorate and he strongly believes it was the chemicals he sprayed.
When it comes to Monsanto and what activists have deemed “tobacco” science in regards to their chemical concoctions, things are far more hazy.
In the coming days and weeks, we will learn more as the court attempts to sort it all out and get to the bottom of what really caused Johnson’s cancer.
Stay tuned, because his and other cancer cases aren’t going away anytime soon.