Jury Awards $2B From Monsanto To Livermore Couple Who Developed Cancer

In Alameda County Superior Court jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion in damages from Monsanto Co. to a Livermore couple who claimed the company’s Roundup weedkiller caused both of them to develop cancer, according to a spokeswoman for the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Bayer, the parent company who owns Monsanto still has not added any warning labels to their Round up weed killer product label that informs consumers about the risks of cancer.

Lobbyist Claims Monsanto’s Roundup Is Safe To Drink, Freaks Out When Offered A Glass

When the company’s lawyer asked a juror after the verdict what the panel wanted to hear from Bayer, the juror responded that he wanted proof the chemical was safe: “I wanted you to get up and drink it.” The juror declined to be identified.

Bloomberg

A Monsanto lobbyist did once claim in a televised interview that “you could drink a whole quart of [Roundup] and it won’t hurt you,”—though when offered, thought it was a convenient time to end the interview.

The award to Alva and Alberta Pilliod included $1 billion each in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages for economic and non-economic losses for their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The couple’s case is the third to result in a verdict against Monsanto and is the largest judgment thus far against the agribusiness company, now owned by Bayer AG of Germany.

In the first two cases, a San Francisco Superior Court jury last year awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson of Vallejo $289 million, later reduced by the trial judge to $78 million. In March, a federal jury in San Francisco granted $80 million to Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa.

The three cases are the first to go to trial nationwide among more than 13,000 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts against Monsanto by people who say exposure to Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide, contributed to their cancer.

The jury in the Pilliod case found that Roundup was a substantial factor in causing the couple’s cancers and that Monsanto sold a defective product, failed to warn consumers of the dangers and was negligent.

The punitive damages, according to the verdict, were for “malice, oppression or fraud” on Monsanto’s part, defined in the jury instructions as including willful and knowing disregard for human safety.

Alva Pilliod, 76, and Alberta Pilliod, 74, were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 and 2015. They testified they sprayed Roundup on weeds on several properties for three decades and believed it was safe because the product labels and television advertisements did not warn of a cancer risk.

Bayer said it will appeal the verdict. It is also appealing the previous two verdicts.

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CBD Study Shows Consumers Dont Get The CBD Product They Pay For

CBD Study Shows Consumers Dont Get The CBD Product They Pay For

Over-the-counter CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA, so how do you know what is inside them?

A study from The Journal of the American Medicine Association found more than two thirds of CBD products online were mislabeled. Some products contained less CBD than what was stated on the label, others contained more, and some had no CBD in it at all.

CBD is sold as a supplement and not a medication which means the FDA does not regulate its safety or purity. In New York City, regulators have cracked down on CBD, banning all food and drinks that claim to have the compound in it.

The 22News I-Team purchased 3 different CBD products from convenience stores in western Massachusetts, a tincture, a drink and a package of gummies.

We then brought these products to ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, to find out what’s lurking behind the labels.

Chris Hudalla is the lab’s co-founder and has been testing hemp and marijuana products for years.

“We test for many producers and many consumers who are buying CBD products, and are concerned they’re not getting what they’re paying for.” 

CBD Test Results:

Tincture $45

  • The label claimed there was 250 mg of CBD in the oil.
  • Chris Hudalla told the 22News I-Team there was far less than that.
  • “We found there was 142 mg in the bottle. There was a 43% shortage in what the consumer paid for but didn’t get.”

CBD Drink $17

  • The drink advertised was 75 mg of CBD.
  • The lab results from ProVerde found only 17 mg, a 77% shortage.

Gummy Worms $13

  • The gummies advertised 500 mg of CBD, but that wasn’t even close.
  • “We found no detected CBD, literally nothing. So these were probably the most expensive gummy worms ever bought.”

Chris Hudalla told the 22News I-Team, the test results we saw weren’t unusual, in fact, it happens quite often. He said they’ve even found toxic chemicals in over-the-counter CBD products, ranging from paint thinner to pesticides. “In addition to not getting your CBD, you’re getting other things you didn’t pay for, nor do you want.”

The 22News I-Team took our lab results to Mark Zatyrka, the CEO of INSA in Easthampton, to see what the price of the products we purchased should have been.

Tincture

The tincture cost the 22News I-Team $45, but Zatyrka said based off of the CBD the lab detected, it should have cost far less.

“That would probably be about $5 worth of product.” 

He also pointed out that for CBD to work, you need to have a lot of it. “The fact that there’s a little, or none at all in those products, it’s very unlikely you’ll any relief from those products at all.”

In Massachusetts, recreational and marijuana dispensaries like INSA have to get their products tested by the state. You can tell a CBD product has been tested, because it’ll have a label on it that comes directly from a state certified lab.

There Is Little CBD In CBD Products You Buy

The amount of CBD in a lot of marketed products — even ones that are meant to be taken orally — is so small that it’s unlikely to make any therapeutic difference for the person using it, said UCLA’s Cooper. In the few studies that have involved humans, doses were in the hundreds of milligrams, but most CBD-infused products contain much less than that, she said. For instance, Lord Jones’s CBD gel capsules, which the company says can be used as a daily supplement and help “promote a calm sense of well-being,” contain just 25 milligrams of CBD per pill. Although Lord Jones does say people can take up to four capsules daily, it also notes on its website that such statements “have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”

CBD advocates were hoping laws around the compound might loosen up — or at least become clearer — after President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC. But regulation of CBD, whether derived from hemp or not, is still largely under the FDA’s jurisdiction. Since CBD is technically an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug, companies are not allowed to add it to food or drinks sold across state lines or to sell it as a dietary supplement. (Companies are, however, allowed to put the compound into beauty and skin-care products, as cosmetics are not subject to premarket approval by the FDA. That could explain why drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens aren’t worried about introducing CBD-infused topical products in their stores.)

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2 million pounds of P.F. Chang’s frozen food meals recalled

2 million pounds of P.F. Chang’s frozen food meals recalled

LOS ANGELES – Nearly 2.1. million pounds of P.F. Chang’s frozen food meals have been recalled due to “misbranding and an undeclared allergen,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Saturday. 

The products subject to recall are the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Chicken Pad Thai and Chicken Fried Rice, produced between Oct. 1, 2018, and April 11, 2019, with “best by” dates of Sept. 26, 2019 through April 5, 2020. 

These products contain milk, a common allergen, which the product label fails to declare. This is common with many custom food labels and milk labels in the food industry.

The error was discovered during a routine label verification check by Conagra Brands, Inc., the Arkansas-based packaged foods company that owns P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand. The recall only affects P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Brand products, and does not include any product sold at P.F. Chang’s restaurants. 

The USDA is concerned that some of these products may have already made their way into consumers’ freezers and is urging anyone who has purchased these products not to consume them.

USDA Report

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The Italian Government Opposes Plans to Add Nutrition Label Information To Food Packaging

The Italian Government Opposes Plans to Add Nutrition Label Information To Food Packaging

In a May 6th press release, the Italian government openly criticized an upcoming report of the World Health Organization (WHO) intended to provide guiding principles and a framework for front-of-pack nutrition labeling in order to promote a healthy diet. These new custom nutrition labels would help better inform consumers.

In many countries, discussions are underway concerning a front-of-pack (FOP) label that provides real transparency on the nutritional quality of foods and would thus help guide consumers toward healthier choices. Such labels are strongly supported by public-health authorities and also consumer associations around the world.

A label adopted after a long political process

It’s worthwhile looking back on the political process that led up to the adoption of NutriScore system, developed in our research team in Paris 13 University. Based on a report delivered in 2014, the previous French minister of health, Marisol Touraine, chose the principle of a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition label. The proposal, based on EU regulations, was approved in December 2015 and the decree published in July 2016 with, at that point, no specific choice for the label’s graphical format.

The announcement of the selection of the NutriScore in March 2017 was based on a series of scientific studies, in particular the results of a large-scale trial conducted in 60 supermarkets at the request of manufacturers and retailers. It compared several label formats, and the one selected, the NutriScore, was confirmed by France’s current health minister, Agnès Buzyn, and co-signed by the ministers of Agriculture and the Economy.

NutriScore, the official French front-of-pack label.

The NutriScore has five colors with the goal of informing consumers on foods’ nutritional qualities and thus allowing them to compare between food. The selection of this label was based on numerous studies published in international peer-reviewed journals. This approach that led the EU office of the World Health Organisation to commend “France’s robust use of evidence to inform this decision”.

An evidence-based label

Studies conducted during the consultation process as well as independent research from teams at Inserm, INRA and other universities in France all have shown the superiority of NutriScore compared to other formats. Research looked at consumer perception, objective understanding and the labels’ impact on the nutritional quality of purchases in a range of experimental and real-life designs. The results of these studies are consistent, and show a greater efficiency of the NutriScore, both for the general population and for disadvantaged subgroups of the population or subjects suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes.

Despite the evidence, and in disregard of the positions of consumer associations who are asking for the NutriScore to be implemented, several agro-industrial lobbying groups have opposed the label. They resort to a simple strategy, shown to be successful in other sectors, such as tobacco: Unable to stop a political decision, they conjure up an alternative system – one potentially less damaging to their economic interests – by justifying its supposed advantages for the consumer.

Ten pieces of data to help choose between a yogurt and a fruit purée

Modified British

Various studies compared this label with the NutriScore and it was shown to be less efficient.

Indeed, the NutriScore provides only one indicator of color for the overall nutritional quality of the food: the foods having the highest nutritional quality are labelled in green. The alternative label provides information for each nutrient – a food could be labelled in green for sugars, but other colors for salt or fats. This type of label can be more difficult to understand for consumers. To choose between two products – for example, a yogurt and a fruit purée – the consumer needs to quickly compare ten different pieces of information, instead of just two with the NutriScore.

But many industrial lobbies consider that such labeling would be contrary to their economic interests and are thus are opposed to the measure.

Food & Nutrition labeling: scientific or a “political concept”?

In his official statement, Gian Lorenzo Cornado, permanent representative of Italy at the World Health Organization (WHO), asserted that “nutrient profiles intended to classify foods is a political concept without any scientific base”.

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Does My Wine Need An Expensive Label?

Does My Wine Need An Expensive Label?

So how much purchasing power does a wine label actually hold for both industry and consumer sales?

On the industry side, wine labels absolutely play a role in buyers’ decisions, particularly on the retail side. “Ultimately, if the wine is a great, the wine label doesn’t matter,” says Leah Rinaldi, a Brooklyn-based sales representative for Jenny & Francois. “That being said, a great label can definitely become one of the factors that has a buyer pull the trigger on a wine.”

Rinaldi explains that if two wines are equally good, but one has a better label, the buyer is likely to go with the latter. On the contrary, Rinaldi recalls instances where buyers have fallen in love with a label and not the wine inside, but not particularly vice-versa. “[Labels] definitely make more of a difference for off-premise than on-premise,” she says, noting that diners choose their bottles based off of a list, whereas labels play a big role in in-store sales.

Elsewhere in New York, Dalton Cannizzo of Martin Scott Wines, notes that visibility, clarity, and design of a label deeply matter. “A buyer’s decision to bring in a wine starts with the gauntlet of taste, but that is quickly followed by an examination of the label,” he says, noting that if a label is hard to read or has a poor layout, the wine will be pushed aside, regardless of how it is. “Graphic design helps and buyers really respond to it, however, the age of catchy labels selling poor-quality wine is coming to an end, or rather, I hope it is,” Cannizzo reveals.

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New Sugar Labels on Food Products Can Save 31 Billion Dollars and 1 Million + American Lives Study Says

New Sugar Labels on Food Products Can Save 31 Billion Dollars and 1 Million + American Lives Study Says

A Recent sugar label study shows that new sugar labels showing how much extra sugar is added to a food product would change the way consumers buy products.

Americans eat, notes the New Food Economy, about half a cup of sugar per person per day.

It’s not a perfect prediction—consumer behavior is tricky—but the model shows massive savings in healthcare costs, to the tune of $31 billion over 20 years.

The study finds some truly interesting facts. On the health side, between 2018 and 2037 the study finds that added sugar labels could prevent over 350,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, almost 600,000 diabetes cases, and save a total of $31 billion in healthcare costs from diet-related problems like these.

Imagine that the next time you buy soda, candy, cookies, crackers, or…pretty much anything, the label specifically told you how much pure extra sugar was added to the product. Would it change your shopping?

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Kids Will Create Ohio’s Next “I Voted” Stickers

Kids Will Create Ohio’s Next “I Voted” Stickers

The State of Ohio Elections Is Redesigning their official state “I Voted Stickers“.

The news is that kids will redesign the official state i voted stickers.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the stickers, which seem to say “I heart voting” but feature a red map of the state of Ohio as the heart, need a new look. And he wants students to come up with it.

“The one thing we’re requiring is that it include the words ‘I voted’,” LaRose said.

6th graders to seniors in high school can enter through April 28 at sticker.ohio.gov. LaRose’s office will choose the top designs, and the final winner will be selected through an online vote.

That new sticker will be produced and distributed after the old stickers supply is exhausted and will be used for at least the next four years.

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These Fruit Stickers Help Keep Your Fruit Fresh For Up To 2 Weeks Longer

These Fruit Stickers Help Keep Your Fruit Fresh For Up To 2 Weeks Longer

A new Fruit Sticker material is coming that will help keep your fruits fresh for 2 more weeks longer on average.

According to the company that prints these fruit stickers “In the U.S. alone, from farm to fridge, 52% of fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste. That’s an annual loss in the tens of billions of dollars. It’s time for StixFresh, the all-natural way to safely and easily extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days.”

Fruit Stickers for Produce

According to the fruit sticker manufactuer StixFresh, the fruit stickers also may cause an increase of sweetness, firmness, and higher moisture retention in fruit. The fruit stickers reportedly work best on avocados, pears, apples, oranges, dragon fruits, kiwis and mangos, but can also be used on apricots, lemons, and pomegranate, to name a few.

The new produce labels are made with an all natural material that is also food safe, and safe to eat.

The inventor of the Stickers Zhafri Zainudin got the idea when he wanted to help his friend in Kuala Lumpur sell his fruit before it spoiled.

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Consumers Demand Clear Labels and Real Ingredients for Food Labels

Consumers Demand Clear Labels and Real Ingredients for Food Labels

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Lisa Leake For Channel News 3 ‘Coast Live’ TV shares several brands who have chosen to utilize real ingredients and feature a clear label, thus starting the “Transparency Trend” for consumers.

Food labels have been under scrutiny lately as consumers demand clear labels and real ingredients on food labels.

Click here to see and view the full video.

Chicago Mayor Candidate Wants to Abolish City Stickers

Chicago Mayor Candidate Wants to Abolish City Stickers

Chicago mayoral candidates are nearly united in promising to bring equity to an overly punitive ticketing policy that has unfairly targeted minority motorists and forced thousands of them into bankruptcy.

Chicago Mayor Candidate Lori Lightfoot is upping the ante with a promise to abolish the city sticker — along with the city clerk’s office that sells them — and replace the revenue with dramatically higher fees on ride-hailing vehicles.

“We should get rid of city stickers. … People hate the city stickers. … We spend so much money trying to collect and police the city sticker program, we are losing money — not gaining money through the city sticker program,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday.

“We’re fighting people. The debt has gone up exponentially. But we’re not collecting the kind of resources that we need to . … The fact that people are losing their jobs, being driven into bankruptcy, losing their driver’s licenses over non-moving violations like city stickers and parking fines — that’s absurd. We can’t keep balancing the budget of the city on the backs of people least able to shoulder that burden.”

Last year, the city sold 1.23 million city stickers and generated $128 million for the repair and maintenance of city streets. Late fees and penalties added another $6.9 million, down from $9.2 million in 2016.

City stickers cost $87.82 for vehicles with a “curb weight” of up to 4,500 pounds and $139.48 for SUVs, trucks and other large vehicles weighing at least 4,501 pounds.

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