GMO’s in the News

 

GMO’s in the News – Oct 2018

There’s lots going on this month!

Mom

 

New study showing organic diets cut cancer risk is a big deal – let’s treat it that way

No study is perfect — but recent findings that organic food consumption cuts cancer risk highlights an opportunity to tackle a deadly, expensive health crisis

EXCERPT: After adjusting as fully as possible for confounding factors, [the researchers] reported their main result in the studied cohort of 70,000 French citizens — a 25 percent reduction in the risk of being diagnosed with a new case of cancer within four years after study enrolment in the high-organic food intake group, compared to the low (and essentially no) organic food intake group.

No study is perfect — but recent findings that organic food consumption cuts cancer risk highlights an opportunity to tackle a deadly, expensive health crisis

More than 1.7 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 35 percent of these cases will prove fatal.

A little less than $150 billion was spent fighting cancer in 2017.

Imagine the excitement that would accompany the discovery of anything — a new drug, therapy, diet, or lifestyle change — that promises to cut overall cancer frequency by 5 percent.

Every year, such a discovery would spare 87,000 people this most-feared diagnosis, and reduce deaths by 30,000 and cancer-related health care costs by around $7 billion.

Such monumental benefits would justify major investments and significant policy change.

Well, not necessarily.

There is a new paper in JAMA Internal Medicine by a team of French scientists that reports a 25 percent decrease in overall cancer risk from relatively high levels of organic food consumption, compared to little or no organic food consumption, in a large, prospective epidemiological study.

Sizable reductions in prevalence were also seen for breast cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and all lymphomas. (Check out a written summary of the study methods or this 2-minute video focused on key findings).

The French scientists suspect that the reduction in pesticide dietary exposure among study participants reporting a high-level of organic food intake is the key factor driving these encouraging results. The team did all it could to control for several confounding factors.

They stressed the study’s limits and the clear need for more precise measures of pesticide dietary exposures. They emphasized the need for all consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables, conventional and/or organic.

Read more here: https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18545-new-study-showing-organic-diets-cut-cancer-risk-is-a-big-deal-let-s-treat-it-that-way

 

 

Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict

Dewayne Johnson originally won $289m after finding Roundup weedkiller caused illness, but judge reduces financial award

A California judge has rejected Monsanto’s appeal to overturn a landmark jury verdict which found that its popular herbicide causes cancer.

The judge’s ruling on Monday largely sided with Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper, who won a $289m award over the summer after alleging that his exposure to Roundup weedkiller gave him cancer. During the trial, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old also alleged that Monsanto had failed to warn him of the risks of using its product.

Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, filed an appeal of the verdict, which said the company was responsible for “negligent failure”, knew or should have known that its product was “dangerous”, and had “acted with malice or oppression”.

Monsanto fought to overturn the verdict, arguing the evidence was insufficient. The San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos had suggested in an initial written ruling this month that she was considering granting a new trial. But she ultimately denied Monsanto’s request. However, she has ruled to reduce punitive damages from $250m to $39m.

The judge said in her ruling on Monday that if Johnson did not accept the lower punitive damages, she would order a new trial for Monsanto.

Johnson’s lawyers said in a statement on Monday that the “reduction in punitive damages was unwarranted” and that his legal team, Baum Hedlund and the Miller Firm, was “weighing the options”.

They added, “The evidence presented to this jury was, quite frankly, overwhelming … Today is a triumph for our legal system. We care deeply for Lee and his family, and we are excited to share this important win with them and all those who supported this case.”

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/22/monsanto-cancer-roundup-weedkiller-judge-denies-appeal?fbclid=IwAR3V_O0upyIaPfZTI_ZevkrDUGIbtlDjRD0iHmBc1VMW9j6YM8kk4xVb9HY

 

 

Monsanto may leave India after losing GMO cotton patent

Citing India’s Patents Act of 1970, the Delhi High Court said that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented

EXCERPT: “What it means is effectively Monsanto has no patent on seeds in India and they have never had it. They have tried to hoodwink the seed companies and farmers for years claiming they have a patent and making huge amounts of money from that,” Diya Kapur, a lawyer for Nuziveedu Seeds, told Bloomberg.

Could Monsanto’s six-decade presence in India be coming to a halt?

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court ruled that the biotech giant cannot claim patents for Bollgard and Bollgard II, its genetically modified cotton seeds, in the country.

Citing India’s Patents Act of 1970, the court said that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented, thereby rejecting Monsanto’s attempt to block its Indian licensee, Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., from selling the seeds.

“What it means is effectively Monsanto has no patent on seeds in India and they have never had it. They have tried to hoodwink the seed companies and farmers for years claiming they have a patent and making huge amounts of money from that,” Diya Kapur, a lawyer for Nuziveedu Seeds, told Bloomberg.

As Dilsher Dhillon wrote in Business Insider India, Wednesday’s verdict could prompt Monsanto to pull out of the country:

With the latest ruling, Monsanto’s claims against Nuziveedu for unpaid royalties have been waived because its patents are invalid. It will now have to settle for the rates decided by the government.

This is a significant blow for Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, as it currently licenses its seeds to nearly 50 domestic companies through its local joint venture with Mahyco Seeds Ltd. It could, in all probability, lead to the company’s complete exit from India.

Read more here: https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18228

 

 

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