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Hardeman v. Monsanto: Jury is seated and Phase 2 opening statements are about to begin. Judge Chhabria is giving the jury an outline of what Phase 2 will entail. Plaintiff’s atty Aimee Wagstaff is now up.
Wagstaff is hammering home to the jury that Monsanto allegedly ghostwrote significant studies on glyphosate/Roundup and cancer, and in turn influenced the science as well as regulators, who have all determined that gly/Roundup aren't carcinogenic.
W told the jury about the 2000 Williams et al. study, which internal Monsanto emails indicate the company ghostwrote in Roundup's favor and passed off as conducted by independent scientists. To support her argument that Monsanto influenced the science & regulators, she said:
That the Williams study was "built into" subsequent studies looking at a potential link between glyphosate and cancer. Mentions that one of those studies finding no association cited Williams as "significant" to its findings.
Stekloff is presenting his opening statement now. Rebutting Wagstaff, he tells the jury that EPA & regulators around the world have looked at the science and have "repeatedly since 2012" determined Roundup can be sold and can be sold without a warning about non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
During her opening, Wagstaff told the jury that Monsanto hasn't tested glyphosate since 1991. Stekloff just now rebutted that, saying the company has tested the product recently and repeatedly. In response, Wagstaff asked for a sidebar with Judge Chhabria.
Chhabria has overruled Wagstaff's objection but reminded the jury that statements from attorneys aren't evidence.
1. During her opening, Wagstaff also told the jury that Monsanto never tested Roundup's carcinogenicity; rather, it only tested its active ingredient glyphosate. Her team argues Roundup is more carcinogenic than Roundup alone; in Johnson, plaintiff attys argued that's because
2. glyphosate and the surfactants act synergistically to become more carcinogenic. Stekloff countered that Monsanto tested glyphosate alone and surfactants alone, and so "Monsanto did take responsibility for testing the product."
3. S said Monsanto did in fact test Roundup on rats over 2 yrs & found Roundup eating at the rats' gastrointestinal lining. "So they determined along w EPA that you can't feed them soap & you're not going to get real results; these rats are not going to survive," S said.
Addressing the 2000 Williams study, S says the study acknowledged Monsanto's role in the study.
S tells jury several times that no health organization or regulator in the world has determined that glyphosate causes cancer or that Roundup requires a cancer warning label.
Stekloff has completed his opening statement.
Interestingly, Stekloff in his opening mentioned all 3 bodies of scientific studies on glyphosate & cancer - human, animal, cell - to the jury this time around. This is a departure from Monsanto's focus in Phase 1 on human studies & its contention that human data is what matters.
We’re now watching video testimony from former Monsanto toxicologist Dr. Mark Martens. Wagstaff is conducting the examination in the video.
Another note on openings: W tried to discredit EPA by saying its original glyphosate classification was based on 1 "imbalanced study which was never repeated;" that it doesn't do its own studies; that it has "cozy" relationships w corporations; & disregards its own guidelines.
Monsanto will need to convince jurors that both EPA & intl regulators can in fact be trusted. In his opening statement, S countered that "Monsanto is not hiding behind the EPA," & that regulators made their findings based on "dozens & dozens" of tests by independent scientists.
Right now, Monsanto's former toxicologist Mark Martens is testifying about Dr. James Parry. Monsanto hired Parry in 1999 to conduct genotoxicity studies on glyphosate w the aim of recruiting Parry as a "spokesman" for the safety of Roundup, per internal Monsanto emails.
Correction: Monsanto hired Parry to analyze existing genotoxicology studies.
P found glyphosate is genotoxic. Internal emails show Monsanto gave P addl data to analyze, hoping he'd change his mind. Monsanto says ultimately, P did conclude glyphosate isn't genotoxic. But plaintiff's attys say the co moved on to ghostwriting & cozying up to regulators.
Martens testified that Monsanto conducted tests on glyphosate that Parry recommended based on P's genotoxicity review. Martens said the results weren't published in a journal; instead they were presented as a poster at a toxicology society meeting in San Francisco in 2001.
Martens admitted that Monsanto never shared Parry's genotoxicity results with the EPA.
Martens worked as a regulator in Europe for 10 years before taking a job with Monsanto. He just testified that glyphosate is the least toxic compound he has assessed over his career.
Monsanto atty asked Martens: "How do regulators know that industry labs that are following good lab practices aren't just cooking the data and making stuff up or or just lying to the regulators?"
Martens 1st said industry labs must be accredited for Good Lab Practices, incl ensuring data is controllable & can be checked by regulators. Replying to Monsanto's question, he said industry labs must submit inspection reports w their results.
And that if labs lose their accreditation, they can no longer submit results to regulators. Court's in recess for lunch.
Chhabria & the parties are back from lunch and discussing Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer's deposition testimony. Per Chhabria, Monsanto has asserted "blanket objections" to it.

"Most of the objections, frankly, are ridiculous," Chhabria says.
"So it becomes hard going through all the deposition testimony to focus on any one thing when you just get the same 403 objection to everything," Chhabria says. "Yes, this evidence is prejudicial to Monsanto bc it's damaging, but it's...not excludable under 403."
403 refers to Rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
We're back and Martens's testimony continues.
The jury was not, in fact, in assigned seats during the read-back of Hardeman's testimony during Phase 1 deliberations, based on where they're sitting today @RPMatthews
The Monsanto trial team seems pretty down today. Did Bayer rip them for yesterday's verdict? They put up an excellent fight, and probably almost achieved a hung jury. Realistically, that's prob the best Bayer will get at trial. Appeal is where it's best chances for winning are.
We're watching video testimony for Monsanto spokesman Bill Reeves now.
We also had video testimony from Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer.

Hardeman and his wife will testify Friday and, unlike in Phase 1, Monsanto will cross-examine Hardeman.
Jury verdict and jury notes from Phase 1 of trial #MonsantoTrial #RoundupTrial
Recap of Phase 2 openings. Hardeman's lawyers intend to focus on Monsanto's alleged attempts to manipulate the science, esp via ghostwriting. Monsanto's intend to emphasize regulators' repeated findings that glyphosate is safe. #MonsantoTrial #Bayer
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