Thursday, June 20, 2019

Is Calif. too liberal to try Roundup cancer cases?

Maker of weed-killer Roundup gets change-of-venue win in cases that contend product causes disease


A federal court judge in San Francisco has handed Monsanto a big victory in its bid to ward off large money verdicts in trials alleging that its Roundup weed-killer causes cancer.

According to a recent online Courthouse News Service story by Helen Christophi, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is giving the agribusiness a chance to pick the venue of upcoming trials.

Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer AG, had sought to have the trials take place "in agricultural states where farmers heavily depend on the company's glyphosate-based herbicides Roundup and Ranger Pro, and where medical-causation laws favor the defendants," the article explains. 

Chhabria oversees nationwide litigation over the product.
Brian Stekloff
Monsanto was represented by Brian Stekloff of the Washington, D.C., law firm Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz, who admitted that the company was looking to try the cases in states more favorable to his clients than liberal California.

Aimee Wagstaff of the Colorado law firm Andrus Wagstaff has been representing the plaintiffs.

The judge's ruling followed Monsanto losing three trials in a row in California courts in which plaintiffs testified that they developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup.

The World Health Organization's cancer agency in 2015 had declared the weed-killer's main ingredient, glyphosate, a probable human carcinogen.

Chhabria also postponed the next bellwether case until Feb. 10 of next year. It had been scheduled to start this month.

More information on litigation regarding products that may cause disease can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Monday, June 10, 2019

FDA finds bodies are absorbing chemicals

Stop your worrying — a new study indicates you can keep smearing on sunscreens to prevent skin cancer 


Worries about skin cancer should supersede concerns about absorbing sunscreen into the bloodstream.
Dr. Aaron E. Carroll

At least that's the conclusion of a new study reported online today by Dr. Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times.

Skin cancer, the article says, "is the most common malignancy in the United States, affecting more than three million people each year."

But sunscreens, it asserts, "are a key component of preventing skin damage that can lead to skin cancer." 

Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine who notes that recommendations against UV exposure "apply to everyone," suggests some folks who want to be extra safe switch to sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — inorganic compounds that aren't absorbed into the body but sit on the skin reflecting or absorbing the sun's harmful rays.

But even using sunscreens without those two components are unlikely to put you in peril.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) study, published in JAMA, tested  24 healthy people. It found that continued use of sunscreens did lead to an accumulation of potentially dangerous chemicals in the body — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrlene and ecamsule.

More information about scientific research into consumer products can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.