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RFK Jr. & Michael Baum Deliver Keynote Address at EU Pesticides Hearing


Sept. 6, 2018 – BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – – Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman attorney Michael Baum and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Baum Hedlund co-counsel) delivered the keynote address at the Greens Complementary Hearing on Pesticides on September 5, 2018.

European Green Party Members of Parliament Maria Heubuch (Germany), Michèle Rivasi (France), Bart Staes (Belgium), and Thomas Waitz (Austria) organized the hearing, which centered on the consequential effects that pesticides have on human health and the environment.

Roundup Cancer Attorneys Discuss Landmark Verdict Against Monsanto at EU Pesticides Hearing

In the keynote address for the EU Pesticides Hearing, attorneys Michael Baum and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. discussed the ongoing Monsanto Roundup litigation in the United States, and in particular, last month’s historic $289 million verdict against Monsanto. Both were part of the legal team that represented 46-year-old Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a former Northern California groundskeeper, in his lawsuit against Monsanto. Johnson alleged exposure to the Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides he used as part of his job caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which his doctors say is terminal.

After five weeks of trial proceedings, the jury found unanimously that Roundup weed killer caused Mr. Johnson’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that Monsanto failed to warn consumers about the cancer link. Importantly, the jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression, or fraud and should be punished accordingly for its conduct.

Mr. Kennedy spent most of his speech discussing the public policy and environmental issues that persist throughout the world because Monsanto continues to maintain that Roundup is safe for humans and the environment. According to Kennedy, the mountain of evidence presented during the Johnson trial show that Monsanto has known for decades that Roundup can cause cancer, but instead of warning consumers, the company corrupted and falsified science to protect its billion-dollar herbicide.

Mr. Baum showed a PowerPoint presentation that included some of the declassified internal Monsanto documents presented during the Johnson trial. The documents, which include internal Monsanto emails, communications, studies, and other memoranda, detail Monsanto’s ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, collusion with regulatory agencies, and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro.

Those in attendance were alarmed to see that regulatory agencies in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere only require analysis of Roundup’s components in isolation—not the formulated product as it is used by consumers. Unfortunately, this does not consider the synergistic effect of glyphosate with Roundup’s other ingredients, like tallowamines or POEAs. According to the U.S. National Toxicology Program, Roundup is more toxic to human cells than glyphosate in isolation.

Mr. Baum told attendees that Monsanto has long known about the toxicity of the Roundup formulation.

“…if someone came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react – with serious concern,” said Monsanto EU executive, Mark Martens, in a 2001 email.

After the hearing, Greens/EFA in the EU Parliament interviewed Michael Baum about the $289M verdict his law firm helped obtain against Monsanto. Mr. Baum explained the four pillars of evidence that convinced the jury to decide this massive and historic verdict in Dewayne Lee Johnson’s favor.

Other Speakers at the Greens Complementary Hearing on Pesticides

  • Dr. Martin Dermine – Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe
    • Status of the impact assessment of the pesticide regulatory process.
  • Dr. Noa Simon Delso
    • Co-author of ‘the Worldwide Integrated Assessment on the risks of neonicotinoids and fipronil to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning’.
  • Prof. Matthias Liess – Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ), Leipzig
    • An expert on the impact of insecticides on aquatic ecosystems. He is also an expert on the national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides.
  • Prof. Johann Zaller – BOKU Vienna.
    • A biologist who works on the effects of pesticides—especially glyphosate—on earthworms, amphibians, and mycorrhizal symbiosis. He recently published a book explaining the risks of pesticides.
  • Prof. A Kortenkamp
    • Endocrine disrupters (EDCs), cocktail effects, and chemicals risk assessment – State of scientific research on EDCs.
  • Dr. Angeliki Lyssimachou (PAN)
    • Human health consequences of pesticides and the EU risk assessment.
  • Siegfried Knasmueller (TBC)
    • Austrian expert on genotoxicity presenting new research on genotoxic effects of glyphosate.

Michael Baum’s Delivers Speech at EU Parliament PEST Committee Hearing on Glyphosate-Roundup

The following day, on September 6, 2018, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on the EU’s authorization procedure for pesticides (PEST) invited Mr. Baum to speak at a public PEST Committee hearing.

The PEST Committee must present its report and recommendations by December 2018 on what should be done regarding the EU’s authorization procedure for pesticides in order to achieve a high level of protection for humans, animals, and the environment.


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