A cancer patient in the US has been awarded $395 million Australian dollars ($US289 million) after a court found he got cancer from Roundup which Capilano Honey CEO Ben McKee admitted to beekeeper Simon Mulvany has also been found in Capilano’s honey.
Roundup is made by US agro-chemical giant Monsanto and there are hundreds more people suing Monsanto because of Roundup. Capilano Honey would be well aware of the numerous global lawsuits regarding pesticides like Roundup and what implications it potentially has regarding their company. It helps explain why Capilano Honey are running SLAPP lawsuits against Simon Mulvany and myself to try to silence public debate and awareness of the issue.
The ABC reported today (11/8/18):
Agribusiness giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $US289 million ($396 million) to a former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, with a San Francisco jury saying the company’s popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease.
The lawsuit was the first to go to trial among hundreds filed in state and federal US courts claiming Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which Monsanto denies.
Jurors in California’s Superior Court agreed the product contributed to Dewayne Johnson’s cancer and the company should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard.
Mr Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $US39 million in compensatory damages and $US250 million of the $US373 million they wanted in punitive damages.
“This jury found Monsanto acted with malice and oppression because they knew what they were doing was wrong and doing it with reckless disregard for human life,” said Robert F Kennedy Jr, a member of Mr Johnson’s legal team.
The US Environmental Protection Agency says Roundup’s active ingredient is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions.
However, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organisation, classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. And California has added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer. (Click here to read more)
The SMH reported the same story today (11/8/18) and also said:
Johnson blames Roundup for his suffering and accused the company – recently acquired by Germany’s Bayer – of concealing the dangers of the weed killer. Monsanto vigorously rejects the allegations and says the herbicide glyphosate is safe.
“In addition to the individual lawsuits there is a class action suit in Chhabria’s courtroom filed by farmers, gardeners and consumers.” (Click here to read more)
Other lawsuits around the world
Beekeepers in France have also instituted a lawsuit against Bayer / Monsanto because of Roundup (glyphosate) being found in their honey. It was reported on the 12 of June 2018:
Beekeepers File Legal Complaint Against Bayer Over Glyphosate in Honey
Bayer, which recently wrapped up its takeover of Monsanto, now owns glyphosate and the liabilities surrounding it.
Last Thursday, the same day the $63 billion acquisition closed, a beekeeping cooperative in northern France filed a legal complaint against the German chemical giant after the controversial weedkiller was detected in honey produced by one of its members, AFP reported.
Famille Michaud, one of France’s largest honey marketers, found the chemical in three batches supplied by one of its members, according to Jean-Marie Camus, the head of the 200-member beekeeping union, L’Abeille de l’Aisne.
In 2016/2017 the Huffington Post reported in America:
FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer In U.S. Honey
The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure to start testing samples of U.S. food for the presence of a pesticide that has been linked to cancer, has some early findings that are not so sweet.
In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.
Glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used weed killer in the world, and concerns about glyphosate residues in food spiked after the World Health Organization in 2015 said its cancer experts determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Other international scientists have raised concerns about how heavy use of glyphosate is impacting human health and the environment.
In the records released by the FDA, one internal email describes trouble locating honey that doesn’t contain glyphosate: “It is difficult to find blank honey that does not contain residue. I collect about 10 samples of honey in the market and they all contain glyphosate,” states an FDA researcher. Even “organic mountain honey” contained low concentrations of glyphosate, the FDA documents show. (Click here to read more)
Another class action was started last year (2017) in Canada against a honey producer:
Glyphosate presence in honey raises concerns
Last fall, the U.S. Organic Consumers Association and Beyond Pesticides filed a lawsuit against Sue Bee Honey of Sioux City, Iowa, because its honey tested positive for traces of glyphosate. The lawsuit said Sue Bee’s labelling, advertising its honey as “Pure” and “Natural,” is false and misleading.
And the article also said: “Something like 80 percent of American honey tested had levels of glyphosate.” (Click here to read more)
Australia’s testing of Honey
In 2016 Simon Mulvany says he had a conversation with Capilano Honey CEO Ben McKee and asked him if Capilano’s testing of their honey had found any glyphosate (Roundup). Ben McKee said “Yes, but only in small amounts”. But what is small amounts? 5%, 10% or 20%? We know the amounts are large enough that Capilano Honey won’t answer questions about it in writing and they won’t hand over their testing for the court cases against Simon Mulvany and myself.
I wrote an email to Capilano Chairman Mr Trevor Morgan (Chairman) and Ms Annette Zbasnik (Company Secretary) on the 17/9/16 titled “Criminal conduct by Capilano Honey CEO/ Managing Director Dr Ben McKee” asking some extremely serious questions about the quality of their honey etc which they refused to answer. (Click here to read the email to Capilano Chairman Trevor Morgan) I published an article the following day titled “Australia’s Capilano Honey admit selling toxic and poisonous honey to consumers“. Instead of answering the questions they instituted a frivolous and vexatious injurious falsehood and defamation case against me.
On the 26th of October 2016 I emailed further questions to Capilano Honey and their CEO Ben McKee which they have also refused to answer:
Dear Mr McKee and Capilano Honey
I would like you to answer the following Interrogatories:
- Is the imported irradiated pollen from China that is fed to Australian bees that make honey sold to Capilano adequately tested when it enters the country?
- Will the origin of the pollen come up in testing facilities?
- Has any Manuka honey tested shown traces of country of origin other than NZ or Australia when tested?
- Does overseas ingredients in Australian honey effect Australia’s credibility as an exporter?
- What have you done about the widespread use of illegally obtained antibiotics on bees in the Australian industry? If you have done nothing, then why have you done nothing?
- Are beekeepers showing vet certificates to Capilano when they are treating their bees with antibiotics.
- Has Capilano Honey or anyone been testing Capilano Honey for the weed killer/herbicide Glyphosate (Roundup)? (Click here to read the full article)
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR)
In November 2016 I wrote to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and asked them questions about Capilano Honey and the testing of honey. Some of the questions I asked, and the answers received are:
- Are beekeepers showing vet certificates to Capilano when they are treating their bees with antibiotics.
Answer: The department has no comment to make regarding Capilano or its operations.
- Has Capilano Honey or anyone been testing Capilano Honey for glyphosate (Roundup)?
- Has other honey that the department tests been tested for glyphosate (Roundup)?
Answer: The department’s National Residue Survey does not undertake glyphosate testing of Australian honey. The NRS is not aware of any herbicide testing of honey undertaken by Capilano.
Testing of imported honey by the department’s Imported Food Inspection Scheme does not include analysis for residues of agricultural chemicals such as glyphosate. (Click here to read the full article).
Capilano Honey’s frivolous and vexatious lawsuits
In February 2016 Capilano Honey and their CEO Ben McKee started suing Simon Mulvany for injurious falsehood and defamation for publishing articles on his Facebook page about pesticides in honey and false labelling etc. In October 2016 Capilano Honey and Ben McKee also started suing me for writing about their lawsuits against Simon Mulvany.
Both of those cases are still afoot today. They are blatant SLAPP lawsuits which are “intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism or opposition.” The reason why is obvious when you look at the $395 million judgment in the US. Capilano Honey are worth approximately $150 million so one similar judgment would wipe out the whole company more than twice over. And after the company was bankrupt litigants could potentially go after the directors for compensation such as billionaire Kerry Stokes who owns 19% of Capilano Honey.
Retailers could also likely be sued which possibly had helped influence Coles deciding to stop selling Capilano Honey’s Allowrie brand honey which contains only 30% Australian honey with the rest being imported predominantly from China.
Capilano Honey have always refused to put any evidence of the testing they do before the court. In fact, no employee of Capilano Honey will sign an affidavit saying Capilano’s honey is safe and contains no pesticides. All they have is hearsay evidence of what their lawyer, Richard Keegan, claims he was told by CEO Ben McKee about the honey being safe. Why didn’t Ben McKee sign the affidavit?
Capilano Honey’s SLAPP lawsuits. Where are they are?
After wasting aver 2 years in the Supreme Court of NSW the Capilano Honey lawsuit against Simon Mulvany was transferred from Sydney to Melbourne where it should have been in the first place given Simon Mulvany lives near there. He is raising funds to pay for legal representation. The matter had its first direction hearing a couple of weeks ago.
Capilano’s case against myself is currently awaiting a judgment from the court of appeal regarding suppression orders. I had a dodgy Super-injunction lifted a couple of months ago and then won a judgment to have suppression orders lifted. Capilano Honey appealed which was heard a few weeks ago and hopefully the reserved decision is not to far away. Any final hearing won’t be until next year.
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