Cancer enquiry on ‘Round-Up’ weeds killer to be…

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Cancer enquiry on ‘Round-Up’ weeds killer to be…

The use of chemicals in promoting agricultural yields and facilitating weeds control is as useful as it could be dangerous to heath. Some countries do turn back importation of agricultural food products such as yams, fruits and vegetables from other countries for reason of low quality.

The definition of ‘low quality’ may include intolerable traces of applied chemicals found on imported samples of such food products. For example, yams that are normally pleasant to taste may turn bitter due to application of excessive fertilizers close to the tubers during its nursery.

The use of chemical could have a three-way effect, one is the effect on the product, the other is the effect on the user and another is the effect of the consumer of the agricultural product or contaminated under-surface water; shallow wells. Knowledge of its use is important and this has informed developing countries like Nigeria to employ Agricultural extension officers to disseminate correct knowledge of agricultural practices to their countries’ farmers.  These days the sparse visibility of Agricultural extension workers in Nigeria suggest a decline in the dissemination of useful agricultural information to farmers, gardeners, horticulturalists and the general public.

Hence, the following piece of Tweet news may be useful to users of weeds killer in their decision making.

A few days ago, a dying Californian has taken Monsanto, the producer of Round up weed killer to court allegedly for the company’s hiding cancer-causing effect of its product, Russia Today news agency tweeted from Benoit Tessier / Reuter’s news. Round-Up weed killer is a very effective and popular weed-killer known world wide.

The Tweet stated that a Californian groundskeeper, otherwise called a gardener in Nigeria, with terminal cancer is set to become the first person to take Monsanto, an agro-biotechnology giant to trial alleging that the company has suppressed the cancer risk of its product for decades.

46 years old DeWayne Johnson a father of three, who is believed to have just a few months left to live, is expected to take the stand against Monsanto in San Francisco County Superior Court.

Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 42 and had earlier worked for a school district, “where his responsibilities included direct application of Roundup and Ranger Pro, another Monsanto glyphosate product, to school properties,” the lawsuit claims.

According to the Tweet, in an order signed by San Francisco Superior Court judge Curtin Karnow last week, some of Monsanto’s requests were granted but Monsanto’s requests to bar experts hired by Johnson from testifying or using certain research was refused. Rather, the judge allowed Johnson’s lawyers to use various peer-reviewed studies and expert evidence during the trial.

Monsanto insists that the cancer the man suffers from hasn’t been caused by exposure to its products. Indeed, Monsanto and some US farm groups have sued California to stop the state from issuing cancer warnings on weed killer glyphosate. It has rejected all allegations and scientific findings of carcinogenicity of its chemical.

In the meantime, around 4,000 plaintiffs have filed similar lawsuits, alleging that they or their relatives were sick from the exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup.

The State of California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), have previously labeled glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. However, U.S. and EU watchdogs haven’t banned the chemical from widespread agriculture use.

The groundbreaking trial is scheduled to begin June 18 in San Francisco County Superior Court.

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Ess Kay

PublicTimes Nigeria (ISSN: 2250 –9295)

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