Farmers in Kona, Hawaii Hit Monsanto with Lawsuit

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Christina Sarich
February 25, 2016

Two South Kona coffee growers have reportedly filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, claiming that the company lied about the possibility for glyphosate, the main ingredient in Round Up, to cause cancer.

It’s not news that Hawaii has been drenched in pesticides. The islands have been deemed ‘ground zero’ for biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, and BASF. Big Ag companies even like to brag that Hawaii is their testing ground for ‘new’ agricultural technologies, meaning their latest pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and the GM crops meant to withstand being drenched by the chemicals.

Christine and Kenneth Sheppard claim that Monsanto is to blame for Christine developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Environmental Working Group claims that this single pesticide can double the risk of developing this deadly cancer, after researching 44 different projects where individuals were exposed to chemicals like glyphosate or 2,4-D.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that the couple filed a civil case earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Honolulu:

The suit alleges Christine Sheppard, who once was president of the Kona Coffee Council, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003, after 8 years of using Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on the farm, and that the Sheppards were forced to sell the farm and relocate to California in 2004, “where she continues to undergo treatment and surveillance for her lymphoma.”

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