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Third Roundup-Cancer Lawsuit Exposes Cozy Relationship Between the EPA and Monsanto

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A third lawsuit related to claims that Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer has revealed new details about the cozy relationship between the biotech giant and U.S. regulators.

On Monday, Monsanto Co. corporate spokesman William Reeves admitted the corporation has regularly communicated with U.S. regulatory agencies regarding reviews of the controversial Roundup herbicide. Reeves denied that Monsanto had given the agencies orders to follow. Reeves’ testimony came about during the latest lawsuit against biotech giant Monsanto, as Alva and Alberta Pilliod fight to prove that Roundup caused their cancer.

The Pilliods are both living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after spraying the herbicide Roundup on their properties for nearly 30 years. The septuagenarian couple were diagnosed with the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, in 2011 and 2015. Now the couple is seeking damages related to their use of Roundup after recent studies have linked the world’s most popular herbicide to cancer.

Courthouse News reported on the latest developments in the case:

“Attorney Brent Wisner, representing plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod, played video testimony of Monsanto corporate spokesman William Reeves in court Monday, in which he acknowledged Monsanto executives had exchanged text messages with regulators who sat on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency committee that found glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is not carcinogenic for humans.The Pilliods’ legal team hopes these email and text exchanges will be enough evidence of collusion between Monsanto and the EPA to delay a review by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a public health agency connected to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The text messages show that on June 18, 2015, Monsanto scientist Eric Sachs sent a text message to former EPA toxicologist Mary Manibusan, looking for help finding a contact in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Sachs was looking to communicate with someone in relation to the agency’s ongoing work developing a toxicological profile of glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient. The ATSDR had begun working on the profile after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research concluded that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

In another text, Manibusan told Dan Jenkins, Monsanto’s liaison to U.S. regulatory agencies like the EPA, that he may need help “trying to do everything we can to keep from having a domestic IARC occur with this group,” in reference to the ATSDR. By June 23, 2015, Jenkins wrote to his Monsanto colleagues alerting them that Jack Housenger, director of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, would put a hold on the report.  “ATSDR Director and Branch Chief have promised Jack Housenger (Director of the US Office of Pesticide Programs) to put their report ‘on hold’ until after EPA releases its preliminary risk assessment (PRA) for glyphosate,” Jenkins wrote.

When questioned about these texts by the Pilliods’ lawyers, Reeves confirmed the text messages were authentic, but stated, “I never heard anyone at the EPA say they were going to tell ATSDR what to do.”

The testimony from Reeves comes a week after Dr. Dennis Weisenburger testified that years of spraying Roundup likely caused the Pilliods’ lymphoma. Dr. Weisenburger testified that Alberta used Roundup an estimated 279 times, and Al 729 times—both without wearing protective equipment.“It’s not a hard call,” Weisenburger said on the witness stand, stating that using Roundup more than two days per year doubles the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “It’s the intensity of exposure that’s more important than the length.”

The Pilliods’ trial is expected to wrap up in the coming weeks, with Monsanto’s lawyers beginning their cross examination next week.

The case is the third lawsuit brought against Monsanto in the last two years. In 2018, a California jury found that Monsanto’s Roundup contributed to cancer in DeWayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper. In that case, evidence of corporate misconduct played a key role in the jury’s decision. In August 2018, Johnson was awarded $289 million after a jury found that Monsanto failed to notify him and other consumers of the dangers of Roundup. Additionally, a jury in San Francisco recently found that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer played a significant role in contributing to 70-year old Edwin Hardeman’s cancer. Hardeman used Roundup on his 56-acre Sonoma County property for decades before he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015. The unanimous verdict concluded a trial that may determine the future of thousands of similar lawsuits filed against biotechnology giant Monsanto.

Stay tuned to The Mind Unleashed for updates on this lawsuit against Monsanto.

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Corruption

Prison Guard Who Had Sex With Inmate In Front Of 11 Prisoners Is Now Behind Bars

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A prison guard in California now finds herself behind bars after she was caught having sexual relations with an inmate – in one case, performing the act in full view of 11 other prisoners.

Former Fresno County correctional officer Tina Gonzalez, 26, was arrested last May following an investigation by the vice unit of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s and its internal affairs division.

Gonzalez, who worked as a prison guard from 2016 to 2019, was investigated after authorities were tipped off that an inmate was having sex with a prison guard who had also smuggled in a phone, reports the Fresno Bee.

In one case, Gonzalez even cut a hole in the pants of her uniform to allow easier access during sexual acts with the unnamed prisoner at Fresno County Jail.

Gonzalez was also accused of having sex in full view of 11 inmates, an act that her former boss says “is something only a depraved mind can come up with.”

Assistant Sheriff Steve McComas, who once supervised the unit Gonzalez belonged to, said that in his entire career of 26 years he has witnessed some “pretty disgusting things” but none as bad as Gonzalez’s conduct.

“She took an oath which she betrayed and in doing so endangered her co-workers’ lives,” McComas said.

“But she has shown no remorse,” he added. “She continually calls and has sexually explicit conversations with the inmate in question and boasts about the crimes she carried out.”

Gonzalez pleaded no contest in April to one count of sexual activity by a detention facility employee with a consenting confined adult, one count of possession of drugs or an alcoholic beverage in a jail facility and a misdemeanor count of possession of cellular device with intent to deliver to an inmate.

When she was being sentenced, Judge Michael Idiart decried her acts as “terrible, stupid” and noted that her career had been “ruined.”

“But I also believe that people can redeem themselves and you have the rest of your life to do that,” the judge added. “Good luck.”

Gonzalez is now serving her sentence of seven months in county jail to be followed by two years of probation.

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Judge Orders New Trove of Secret Ghislaine Maxwell Files to Be Unsealed This Month

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A large trove of secretive files about Ghislaine Maxwell will be unsealed this month, including those shedding light on her relationship with disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein, a judge ruled on Thursday.

The documents will include details on her finances, as well as “funding received from the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation,” according to court records.

The documents are also believed to detail Maxwell’s extensive connections with powerful men such as Prince Andrew of the British royal family, reports the Daily Mail.

It has long been well-known that Epstein and Maxwell associated with both Clinton and former President Donald Trump. Clinton also reportedly met with accused Maxwell for an “intimate” dinner in 2014.

The documents are a part were filed by Epstein accuser and former “sex slave” Virginia Roberts Giuffre in a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell and must be released in mid-July, Judge Loretta Preska ruled in Thursday’s telephone hearing.

Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after she was accused by the British socialite of fabricating the sexual abuse allegations against her and Epstein in the lawsuit, which has since been settled.

Last July, a deposition by Giuffre was unsealed. In the deposition, Giuffre went into detail about alleged “constant” orgies that Maxwell and the late pedophile engaged in on Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

“There’s just a blur of so many girls,” Giuffre explained in the 2015 deposition.

“There were blondes, there were brunettes, there were redheads,” she continued. “They were all beautiful girls. I would say the ages ranged between 15 and 21.”

The island was a place where orgies were a constant thing that took place. And again, it’s impossible to know how many,” Giuffre said, noting that she was “100 percent certain” that Maxwell took part in sexual acts with the girls.

Maxwell is accused of grooming multiple minors to engage in sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, by befriending them to ask them about their lives and families while building friendships with the young girls alongside Epstein by taking their victims on social outings or out shopping in the 1990s and 2000s.

Maxwell has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, pending trial.

Her five appeals to be released from jail have all been rejected.

Epstein, 66, was found dead in a lone cell in the special housing unit (SHU) of a federal Manhattan prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

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2 More Catholic Churches in Canada Burned as Third Mass Gravesite for Indigenous Kids Found

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An additional two Catholic churches have been the target of likely arson in Canada as anger continues to grow in the aftermath of the discovery of over 1,000 human remains belonging to Indigenous children.

The news coincides with the discovery of a third site where 182 unmarked graves were located near a discovered near a residential school in British Columbia’s interior.

Early Wednesday morning, firefighters were dispatched to respond to a fire at St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Morinville, Alberta, which was basically gutted by the blaze.

“The fire was already fully involved from the basement when the first fire crews got here,” Morinville’s infrastructure general manager Iain Bushell told CTV News. “They entered the building but there was already collapse occurring on the inside of the church so they backed out and it’s been a defensive or exterior fire fight ever since.”

Police officials have described the blaze as “suspicious.”

Roughly an hour later, a fire was also reported at the Catholic St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, reports CBC.

At least seven churches, nearly all Catholic, have come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks. Activists and Indigenous advocates have also defaced Catholic churches with bloody red hand and foot prints, while demonstrations have also been staged involving stuffed animal and the slogan “we were children.”

While it remains unclear what precisely caused the fires, they are believed to be linked to the recent discovery of mass graves and unmarked graves containing over 1,000 human remains near Catholic-run residential schools for First Nations children.

The discovery came just few weeks after the grim discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodied by the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation in a mass grave at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Colombia.

Also last month, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan announced its discovery of 751 unmarked graves near the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 in the area.

 Another site with 182 unmarked graves was announced Wednesday after an investigation undertaken by the community of ʔaq’am, near Cranbrook, British Columbia.

About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed that large amounts of Indigenous children fled such residential schools or died there, their whereabouts unknown. Former students have also testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad students died from preventable diseases that rapidly spread in unsanitary conditions, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”

Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are also demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. Activists have also rejected Canada Day celebrations this year to highlight the anti-Indigenous atrocities that the founding of the North American country entailed.

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