In Court.


First Australian farmer sues Monsanto, claiming Roundup caused his cancer


WA Country Hour

By Jon Daly and Belinda Varischetti Updated yesterday at 15:20 First posted yesterday at 14:18

Containers of Roundup on a shelf
A NSW farmer has taken legal action against the manufacturer of the commonly-used weedkiller, Roundup. (AP: Haven Daley)

For the first time in Australia, a farmer has launched legal action against Monsanto — the manufacturer of Roundup — claiming it caused his cancer.

Key points:

  • A 67-year-old farmer from NSW is suing Monsanto, claiming long-term exposure to Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • It follows a 54-year-old Melbourne gardener launching legal action against the company in June
  • Bayer-owned Monsanto, the National Farmers’ Federation, and the Agriculture Minister say glyphosate is safe if instructions are followed

New South Wales farmer, Ross Wild, 67, has used Roundup on his mixed farming property in Moama since its introduction in Australia in 1976.

Last year, Mr Wild was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and he claims long-term exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is to blame.

‘Inadequate’ warning

He will be represented by Melbourne-based lawyer Tony Carbone who is managing partner of Carbone Lawyers.

In June, Mr Carbone began another case against the chemical giant involving 54-year-old Melbourne gardener, Michael Ogliarolo.

Mr Wild’s case was lodged with the Victorian Supreme Court earlier this week.

Monsanto, which is owned by pharmaceutical conglomerate, Bayer, will be served writs for both cases before the end of the week, according to Mr Carbone.

Mr Carbone said the warnings on Roundup bottles were inadequate and his client’s clothes and body had been “drenched” in the herbicide over a 40-year period of use.

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More Wildlife

Insecticide blamed for the deaths of 200 native birds, including wedge-tailed eagles

Environment officials are unsure whether the poisoning of the birds in northeast Victoria was an accident

Australian Associated Press

Mon 7 Oct 2019 12.16 AEDT First published on Mon 7 Oct 2019 12.03 AEDT


A wedge-tailed eagle
Tests on the carcasses of six eagles detected an insecticide used to control mites. Photograph: Eric Woehler

An insecticide is likely to be behind the deaths of almost 200 native birds in northeast Victoria, environment officials believe.

After dead wedge-tailed eagles were found near Violet Town in August the state’s environment department found more – along with hawks and falcons – on a nearby property.

They have since found up to 200 dead native birds in the area, including 25 wedge-tailed eagles.

Tests on six eagles have detected an insecticide used to control mites.

The same agricultural chemical has been found in the carcasses of animals suspected of being used as bait. The department believes it may have caused all the bird deaths. But it is not sure whether the poisoning was accidental.

“It remains unclear if these birds were deliberately poisoned, however given the large number of birds found nearby, it’s a possibility,” the environment department compliance manager, Andrew Dean, said.

Raids have also taken place in recent weeks at properties in Shepparton East and Goomalibee.

“All evidence collected will be forensically analysed, including the carcasses and chemicals seized, which may take some time,” Dean said.

Native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act and deliberately killing them can result in a fine of up to $39,652 or up to two years in prison.

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Good start.

Waste collected in the boom
The boom skims up waste ranging in size from a discarded net and a car wheel to tiny chips of plastic. Photograph: AP

A huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.

Boyan Slat, the creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, tweeted that the 600 metre-long (2,000ft) free-floating boom had captured and retained debris from what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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More Fungi

Deadly fungus native to Japan and Korea discovered in Australian rainforest

Poison Fire Coral, the only known fungus whose toxins are absorbed through the skin, found on the outskirts of Cairns

Ben Smee @BenSmee

Thu 3 Oct 2019 00.01 AEST Last modified on Thu 3 Oct 2019 03.42 AE


Poison Fire Coral is one of world’s deadliest fungi
Poison Fire Coral, one of world’s deadliest fungus species, has been found in north Queensland, a long way from its usual home in Japan and Korea. Photograph: Ray Palmer

One of the world’s deadliest species of fungus, previously thought native to Japan and Korea, has been found by a photographer on the outskirts of Cairns in northern Australia.

Scientists say the discovery of Poison Fire Coral in a pocket of rainforest in Redlynch, a Cairns suburb, indicates the fungus likely occurs naturally in other parts of Australia and south-east Asia.

Poison Fire Coral, typically found on tree roots and in the soil, is the only known fungus whose toxins are absorbed through the skin. There are documented fatalities caused by the species in Japan and Korea.

Matt Barrett, a mycologist from James Cook University who specialises in fungi, said Poison Fire Coral could cause “a horrifying array of symptoms” if eaten, including stomach pain, vomiting and fever. Eventually it can cause death by multiple organ failure or brain nerve dysfunction.

Fungus that draws gold from its surroundings discovered in Western Australia

Read more

“Of the hundred or so toxic mushrooms that are known to researchers, this is the only one in which the toxins can be absorbed through the skin,” Barrett said.

“Most fungi, even death cap (mushrooms) you can handle them fine without having any symptoms at all. To have a fungus that can cause symptoms on touch … it’s something we need to be aware of.”

Barrett said the fungus was “much more widespread than it initially was thought to be” and that the Cairns finding matched recent photographs from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. This was the first time Poison Fire Coral had been sighted in Australia.

Photographer Ray Palmer said he found the fungus in a pocket of rainforest “in a little hidden area but close to suburbia”.

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Phew. fires on my boundary out.

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The helicopters worked all weekend and are continuing this morning. The NSW BUSH FIRE ALERT website now says the fire is controlled.

A relief for the time being.

A difficult week for me here with my physical slow down and the realisation my 25 years of hard labour, regenerating 1000s of rain forest trees could be burnt out in a flash.

Then to listen to so called leaders denying climate change is happening. 

But by the weeks end, I am able to relax and say to myself what will be will be and as soon as I accepted that, I began to relax.

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