A few weeks ago, a jury awarded $289 million in damages to a California school groundskeeper, finding that his cancer was caused by on-the-job exposure to Monsanto’s pesticide Roundup, the main active ingredient of which is glyphosate. How will this affect Davis? How should it?
Recall that, in a rather messy and prolonged process, the Davis City Council voted to “phase out” the use of glyphosate. But where is the City in that process? Do we even have an IPM specialist to replace Martin Guerena (who stepped down many months ago after being ill-treated by the City), i.e., someone who could oversee this phase out and report on it?
And does the phase out need to be accelerated? Or should it occur immediately?
Charles Benbrook, who provided expert testimony at the trial, believes that the decision “surely will have an impact on the many hundreds of cases already moving through the courts, especially if and as other juries concur with the cancer-causality judgement embedded in the jury's verdict in the Johnson case.” And Benbrook believes that science supports that judgement, with “hundreds [of studies that] report evidence supporting a role of Roundup in Lee Johnson's non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
What say you, Davis City Council? Will you act again, or will this require many more months of frustrating citizen effort? Will you protect Davis citizens and workers? Will you risk costly lawsuits?