Roundup verdict: Fairness was ignored, politics ruled, Varney says

A California couple claimed they got cancer from the weed killer Roundup. A jury agreed. They were awarded $2 billion. I call that a travesty of justice.  A harsh judgment on my part, maybe, but new details are emerging, and we can see the danger of a politicized judiciary. In this case, fairness was ignored. Politics ruled.

The trial lasted weeks, but the jury took less than two days to arrive at that $2 billion award. Questioned later, some jurors made it clear they were in a mood to punish the Roundup makers.

"I wanted you to get up and drink it," one juror told a Roundup lawyer. Another said he wanted to get the company's attention and that anything less than $2 billion would not have the same "punch in the gut effect." They did not believe Roundup was safe.

That’s not surprising since the judge, Winifred Smith, did not allow the jury to hear about the FDA’s own study, which found it safe. “What’s the relevance?" she asked. It’s obviously relevant. If you're judging safety, you can't dismiss clear evidence of safety. The FDA included a study of 45,000 men and women who use Roundup regularly in their pesticide business, “not statistically significantly associated with cancer at any site."

The jury was not allowed to see that. And that is wrong.


I said this yesterday at this time and received a lot of responses, including this: “Saw your comment on cancer victims, I hope everyone you care about gets cancer and dies a slow and painful death."

With respect, the person who wrote that has entirely missed the point. I was not commenting on cancer victims. I was commenting on a politicized legal system that falsely pins blame and ruins a company the jury didn't like.

And that is a travesty of justice.