Category Archives: Genetically Modified Foods

The Verdict…

Organics Admin
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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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This entry is part 21 of 22 in the series Whom do your elected officials represent???
Me on the Radio

On Monday October 22, 2018 the Honorable Susanne Bolanos entered the final decision to the post trial motions from Monsanto and Plaintiffs for what many have called the history making trial of the century. For two weeks now I have spoken on GMO Tuesday about how Monsanto has once again breached the “unprecedented” in courtroom theatrics and requests. Their request this time set into motion a series of also unprecedented action.
First let me say it has taken me a couple days to process this decision by the judge. While many are not satisfied with the reduction of the settlement portion of the “punitive damages” , I actually believe that if this settlement decision is accepted not only is it fair, it will be very difficult for Monsanto to overcome in the higher courts. Asking a judge to overturn a jury decision is a stretch to say the least. Asking the judge to become a 13th member of the jury and overturn a decision that 12 others made? Lets make no mistake Monsanto will attempt to string Mr. Johnson out until he has passed then attempt to claim the settlement is moot as he is no longer with us. That is how Monsanto is. Just ask the Agent Orange casualties
In a criminal trial “punishment” is jail time and or a fine, perhaps some sort of supervision such as parole or probation. In civil matters the punishment is called “Punitive Damages” and are monetary in nature. Most civil cases are against company’s or disputes between two parties.
Criminal laws are the rules that apply when someone commits a crime, such as assault, robbery, murder, arson, rape and other kinds of crimes. After a person is arrested and charged with a crime, that person goes to a Criminal Court.
Civil law refers to almost all other disputes—these are the rules that apply when one person sues another person, a business or agency. This can cover a housing case such as for eviction or foreclosure, a family case such as divorce or custody, consumer problems such as debt or bankruptcy, or when someone sues for money because of damage to property or personal harm. All of these cases go to a Civil Court.
The judges in criminal and civil court have different powers. Criminal Court judges can punish you for breaking the law by sending you to jail. Civil Court judges can order you to pay money or a fine, or make decisions about your family or your home.
What happens in criminal court?
In criminal court, the government files a case against someone for committing a crime. The person accused of committing the crime is called the defendant. The government must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a very high standard. If the defendant is found guilty, then he or she may go to jail or prison.
There is actually more civil law in front of the courts. The term “Defendant” in both type of law is used. A defendant is the party accused of some sort of misconduct. In criminal court when a person or entity cause irreversible harm to one like death the guilty parity usually receives a substantial amount of time behind bars. In a civil matter because you cannot place a company in a jail cell the punishment is usually in a monetary form. Occasionally a company is forced to close or “break-up” because of a courts decision in a civil matter. Most of the time in cases where the punitive punishment is great a company goes bankrupt and shutters their doors. Not very often
As I was researching for this past GMO Tuesday I came across an LA Times article penned by Michael Hiltzik/ The article read like something from a Monsanto lackey. Now I say this with all due respect to Mr. Holtzik, I do not know this gentleman, however…let’s look at a couple statements from the article.
But there’s another sense in which the verdict is bad news: It’s a sign that juries are unable to weigh scientific evidence in cases where that evidence is key.
Excuse me?

“Six of the jurors had science degrees; eight of the jurors had graduate degrees, two jurors had Ph.D.s. One juror was a genetic engineer who had already had an intimate knowledge of the mechanism of action of glyphosate resistance in genetically engineered plants. With such an attentive and intelligent jury, it cannot be said that their verdict was ‘obviously and clearly wrong.’” See GG article here

Another statement that Mr. Hiltzik makes…

One can applaud a judicial system that delivers redress to a sick patient. But this case demonstrates the profound flaws of a system that can deliver a sizable hit on a corporation despite the lack of hard evidence.

With all due respect 290 million is hardly a “sizeable hit” for a company the generates approximately 1.9 billion in gross profits yearly from the product in question and recently sold for 60 BILLION dollars. Was the 250 million punitive award excessive? Perhaps. Heaven forbid the company that has been making poisons for our food supply and environment since 1901 go bankrupt over their lies and misdeeds. To say Monsanto operates with an absence of malice is as absurd as saying pecuniary greed is not in play.
Those statements actually sound like, even though the article starts out with the disclaimer that Monsanto makes a lousy victim, that somehow the jury’s verdict makes Monsanto a victim. That would make Monsanto a victim of their own actions, not the result of an absence of malice or lack of hard evidence, or even the result of an uneducated jury.
It’s the “Lack of hard evidence” and saying the jury was unable to judge evidence that raises the red flags here. I have to ask if Mr. Hiltzik has ever been involved in the jury selection process. For the record before a jury can be seated both parties, in this case the plaintiff and the defendant have to be satisfied with the members of the jury. Part of the rules that help insure the trial is fair to both parties.
Let’s be clear Monsanto has permeated the very fabric of our political system and regulatory agencies. Monsanto since 1998 Monsanto has spent an average of six million dollars a year lobbying our elected officials. Swix million bucks that is written off as a business expense. We haven’t even gotten into the “charitable contributions” directly to our elected officials campaign coffers. In this particular case what would be “hard evidence”?
I suppose that emails between Monsanto employees and the EPA showing collusion are not enough to establish “malice”. No they are not enough to show that Monsanto knew. No those emails do state the obvious. They do not show that there was preferential treatment towards Monsanto. The facts did not show that Monsanto did not like the results of the first test results from their scientist and purchased future testing and results. No that must be considered “soft evidence” that should not be considered.
Well fortunately the jury used some common sense and applied this common sense to their deliberations. I beat this drum this morning as I find myself asking myself just how deep is the Monsanto propaganda machine? Authors of articles such as this one seem to lean in favor of Monsanto regardless of the disclaimers. The fact that this author has questioned the intelligence of the jury tells me that just perhaps this gentleman did not follow this particular trial and just willy-nilly wrote a jurisprudence feel good piece. The problem with that is many people read a piece like this a assume that the jury was incompetent. They read like this and assume that the jury was making a public opinion statement that is anti corporation that big business has to be punished because they profit so much from their pecuniary greed.
I actually followed this trial, from jury selections to verdict to post trial motions and Judge Bolanos final decision. Is Monsanto a monster??? My answer would demonstrate a bias. Are they corrupt? Again bias. Do they manufacture their own science, the jury said yes, my feelings on that subject is no longer a bias. Does Monsanto operate with malice? The jury says I no longer have a bias on this subject matter. It is no secret that they purchase our elected officials, just look at Debbie Stabenow taking $15,00.00 and stabbing not only her constituents in the back but everyone of the 90% of all our elected officials constituents…let that sink in for just a minute… that wants a proper food labeling bill with S2609, known as the infamous Dark Act.

Senate Agriculture Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, speaks with the committee’s ranking Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, during the committee’s hearing on MF Global Holding Ltd. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

We can’t make just Pat and Debbie the authors of S2609 the scapegoats….yours, mine, your friend on the other side of the country, your mother in the state next to yours…their elected officials also stabbed us in the back. We can make phone calls to offices, we can use social media platforms a little more responsible to get our message across. Just a thought, one that we should all seriously consider. Our health depends on it.
Should Mr. Johnson say ok I’ll agree with Judge Bolanos and leave my family with about 48 million (considering IRS???) and set some precedence for future litigants??? Not for me or your for that matter to decide. What we can relish in is the fact the Judge Bolanos told Monsanto the following, You did act with malice,  the evidence the jurors made their decision on did not produce a flawed decision, and I can overcome that fact to act as a 13th member of the jury…IMHO, that actually would have been ludicrous. That said, Monsanto wakes up to a very tough mountain to scale with this decision. Sometimes the system really does work.
Should you want to assist in a little activism, find me on Twitter @aladayllc, where everyday I ask our President, the EPA, FDA and the USDA…Please get the poison out of our food.

Until Next Time

Happy Gardening

 

Photo credited found on google under images roberts/stabenow seaarch.

Reflections…Yes Maybe of a Simpler Time….

Organics Admin
Follow Me!!

Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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Latest posts by Organics Admin (see all)

Continue reading Reflections…Yes Maybe of a Simpler Time….