by Derrick Broze, Activist Post:
A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit by a former coffee grower who claims that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide gave her cancer.
In another blow to Monsanto Co’s already tarnished public image, a former Kona coffee grower will be allowed to sue the biotechnology giant for possibly contributing to her cancer diagnosis. Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide has been subject to heavy scrutiny following studies linking the herbicide to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Christine and Kenneth Sheppard, former owners of Dragon’s Lair Kona Coffee Farm in Captain Cook on the Big Island, claim that Monsanto hid the risks associated with glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup. Christine Sheppard believes her consistent contact with Roundup caused her to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
From 1996 through 2004, the Sheppards sprayed their farm with Roundup. In 2003, Christine Sheppard was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “Why me?” she asked in a 2009 editorial for the newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmer’s Association.
The Sheppards had never lived near any industry and were “turning organic,” living in Kona, where in spring flowers stick to coffee plants like snow on steep volcanic slopes above a cobalt sea. And the smoky smell of roasting “cherries” fills the air at harvest time.
Then Christine saw a report from Sweden that linked Roundup with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “Was this my link?” she wrote. She bookmarked the report to read later, but found it had been removed from the web, “rumor says under pressure from chemical giants,” the Sheppards say in their complaint.
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