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There is strong consensus to expand coverage of the Roundup cancer case in the article. Of the four proposed versions, a plurality of editors preferred version B, stating that it is most descriptive and sufficiently neutral. Some editors believed that version B constitutes undue weight, but version B still garnered the highest level of support. — Newslingertalk 21:58, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Should coverage of the recent Roundup cancer case be expanded? If so, which option do you prefer? petrarchan47คุก 04:05, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Note The proposed text has changed as a result of the first day of comments. Those who have commented thus far have been alerted. If this action runs afoul of the guidelines, please feel free to revert.petrarchan47คุก 05:54, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court, awarded Dewayne Johnson $289 million dollars in damages for linking his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to RoundUp weedkiller.
A: On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court, awarded Dewayne Johnson a total of $289 million for linking his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to Roundup weedkiller; $39 million was awarded for past and future damages, and $250 million in punitive damages. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud". The company plans on appealing the verdict on the ground that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys.
B: In March 2017, 40 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit at the Alameda County Superior Court, a branch of the California Superior Court, asking for damages caused by the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, and demanding a jury trial. On August 10, 2018, Monsanto lost the first decided case. Dewayne Johnson, who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was awarded $289 million dollars in damages after a jury in San Francisco found that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn consumers of cancer risks posed by the herbicide. During closing arguments Johnson's attorney argued that "Monsanto made a choice to not put a cancer warning on the label". The company plans on appealing the verdict on the ground that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys..
Versions crafted after additional RfC discussion (added Sept. 25):
C: On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court awarded groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson a total of $289 million for linking his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to Roundup weedkiller; $39 million was awarded for past and future damages, and $250 million in punitive damages. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud". The company plans on appealing the verdict, and issued a statement saying in part that "glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer."
D: On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court awarded groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson a total of $289 million for alleging his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) was linked to Roundup weedkiller. The company plans on appealing the verdict, and issued a statement saying in part that "Today's decision does not change the fact that . . . glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer." There is a scientific consensus that there is no evidence of carcinogenicity for labeled uses of glyphosate herbicides.
Support the proposed wording; it provides needed contextual information and correct weighting of significance. -- GreenC 04:16, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Support These added details are included, prominently, in every sou rce I've seen on the subject. Present coverage is needlessly lacking basic facts about this 'landmark' court case. petrarchan47คุก 04:20, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I'll resubmit iVote once proposals are finalized. petrarchan47คุก 21:10, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Question. Was the Judge in this case elected to the position by popular vote, as is often the case, or are they in post by being excellent at Judgery? -Roxy, the dog.wooF 12:06, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Why is that relevant? --Izno (talk) 12:44, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Support - Seems like non-controversial additional details. NickCT (talk) 12:54, 17 September 2018 (UTC) Changing my initial vote cause the proposal seems to have changed. New vote below. NickCT (talk) 15:53, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Oppose including judge's extra commentary. The scientific consensus is very clear on glyphosate and its formulations as detailed just below the current text version in that labeled use is not a significant health risk and that glyphosate formulations are not considered carcinogenic as well as at the respective herbicide articles. Science is not metered out by courts, and they can generally be unreliable in detailed scientific topics. This court case is ultimately implying the plaintiff was harmed by normal use of the product, so that puts the court case in WP:FRINGE territory, especially when you dig into further background on the IARC stuff that helped spur the case.
We already have mention of the court case as would be expected of noteworthy events even if they are fringe, but including the judge's commentary gets into WP:UNDUE territory since the whole premise of the case was that Monsanto did stuff that led to the product causing his cancer and health issues. It would be one thing if other sources were discussing the judge's comments in a fringe context, but we normally don't include such statements as a standalone. In short, we already have enough mention of the case as had been regularly discussed on the related talk pages before this edit was introduced. To do more gets into trouble with our fringe-related policies and guidelines, which is why the edit had to be removed in the first place. Kingofaces43 (talk) 14:52, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Just a note the above comment was before changes to the RfC proposals, but the meat of my comments still remain. WP:FRINGE stuff needs to be put in that context if it is going to be included. I'm ok having the bit about Monsanto/Bayer appealing, but you generally don't want a tit-for-tat display when the science is clear. The problem is saying more than that the case happened without appropriate critique policies and guidelines require on this. The new A above is a slight improvement, though does not address the fringe issues, and B is even worse. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:46, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Support - Well-sourced, non-controversial, concisely-presented additional facts about a non-trivial event in Monsanto's history. --Tsavage (talk) 15:12, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
The Minor4th version (below) is an improvement, adding some basic information, without expanding into Monsanto legal cases territory. The second proposed version (above) is similar, but perhaps not as cleanly summarized (Johnson's attorney quoted?). Adding: "The company plans on appealing the verdict on the ground that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys." to the original proposed version (above) would also be an improvement that I support. --Tsavage (talk) 06:25, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Let me know if I misunderstood your suggestion, otherwise I believe Option A has your support now? petrarchan47คุก 08:56, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I support A or B (with or without the Johnson's attorney quote), which is not necessary for this article, as, in B, what the case was about is already described in the previous sentence. B provides more information, while remaining a concise summary. More detail can go into Monsanto legal cases. --Tsavage (talk) 15:41, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
UPDATED: Support A or B (preferably without the Johnson's attorney quote) or C (without the "more than 800", which is struck in current version). --Tsavage (talk) 00:11, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Support per Petra and others. In addition, I strongly believe that the added information here: "Add consensus text on carcinogenicity"  should be removed. I've never seen something of this sort done in WP in all the time that I've worked on corporation articles. It appears that FRINGE is being used for an explanation as to why WP would step in to refute the decision of a U.S. jury in their decision and the judge's comments. This addition to our article just reminds me too much of the present administration's advise that we ignore our justice department and go along with their version of facts. IMO, if anything we should rather be including the major reason for the jury decision which was not the fact that they believed as fact that Monsanto's RoundUp caused this man's cancer but that Monsanto secretly and illegally manipulated the facts about the safety of their product. And yet our article step's in to defend Monsanto.Gandydancer (talk) 16:04, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Comment only the USA today source uses the quote from the judge, so it is certainly up for debate whether this should be included as opposed to other wording. Did the supporters notice that? The difficulty here is that this is one legal case in Monsanto's history, so it is difficult to decide which details should or should not be included here to summarise it. If we do include extra information, then we should at very least mention that Monsanto are planning to appeal as well e.g. . SmartSE (talk) 16:38, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Support (B) - well-sourced, important info for readers. Atsme✍🏻📧 16:51, 17 September 2018 (UTC) added "B" 16:33, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Support, but with caveats. First of all, I think it is entirely appropriate to include what the judge said, with attribution. It is directly relevant to Monsanto, and it is a major and noteworthy milestone in the history of the company and its place in society. But, it should be sourced to the USA Today source, only, because that's the only source listed above that actually contains the quote, as SmartSE correctly pointed out. And, the paragraph must include the fact that Monsanto plans an appeal, per NPOV, as SmartSE also said. In addition, there is a quote from Scott Partridge that is near the end of both the NPR and NBC sources above, that refers to "more than 800 scientific studies and reviews". It is important to include some of that quote as well. I heard another NPR report (I can look for it if editors want) in which the reporter pointed out that the court decision was about corporate conduct rather than about toxicology, and it is important that WP present that accurately: the judge evaluating Monsanto's corporate conduct, and at the same time courts do not determine science. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:26, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Here is that other NPR story: . --Tryptofish (talk) 18:48, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Now that I have that source in front of me, rather than going by memory of something I heard on the radio, I want to clarify my earlier remark. Reporter Dan Charles didn't exactly say that the court decision was only about corporate conduct; I somewhat misremembered that. Rather, he said that the jurors agreed with the plaintiff's claim that Roundup had caused cancer, but that this was part of a phenomenon that "sometimes happens in these jury trials when you're confronted with a real, suffering human being", and then he went on to draw a distinction between that and "there's another thing going on, which is quite interesting. Basically, the plaintiffs put Monsanto on trial". --Tryptofish (talk) 18:59, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Courtesy ping@Tryptofish: since I am banned from your talk page. Proposed text has changed. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience. petrarchan47คุก 06:08, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I think that A is a step in the right direction. Strong Oppose to B, as being too verbose, badly written, and not balanced. I guess I'll have to propose a version C below. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:15, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
That source helps illustrate part of the problem we're having here. What I'm trying to navigate here is that the court case is ultimately awarding damages to the plaintiff for their cancer whether it's the jury saying they did weigh health evidence or were solely basing it somehow on corporate conduct. At the end of the day, that's foraying into the realm of science and contradicting a scientific consensus, so we are left in a position of having a noteworthy case, but needing more appropriate sources in order to include more detail about it. I'm still looking for sources for that, but it's a lot to sort through. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:46, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Support Definitely needs to be added to this article and probably other related articles. I have been looking for a place where this might be expanded in more detail - perhaps on the Monsanto legal cases page (which needs to be cleaned up). I would tweak the wording a bit so that it more broadly represents the various reliable sources. I'll make a proposal in the discussion section.Minor4th 22:08, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
I just tweaked the wording on the Monsanto legal cases article, and something like this might work here:
In March 2017, 40 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the Alameda County Superior Court, a branch of the California Superior Court, against Monsanto alleging damages related to certain forms of cancer caused by Monsanto's Roundup product. On August 10, 2018, Dewayne Johnson won the first jury case against Monsanto based on a causal link between Roundup and Johnson's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury awarded Johnson $289 million in actual and punitive damages against Monsanto, and found that Monsanto acted maliciously by failing to warn consumers of cancer risks posed by the herbicide. Monsanto plans to appeal the verdict based on a claim that the judge improperly admitted scientific evidence presented on behalf of Johnson.
Partial support The breakdown of compensatory and punitive damages seems important, but the rest of it reads as legal jargon serving only to pile on. I'd be more supportive of different language highlighting facts that might have led the jury to award punitive damages. Plus some of the more notable commentary. R218 px (bleep) 23:02, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Comment - I support the proposed paragraph by Minor4th as it is well-written and provides an excellent summary of the case. The cited sources provide additional information for readers/researchers. Atsme✍🏻📧 00:08, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Adding - I support the new text but I think it needs to more closely represent what the cited source states; i.e., that the lawsuit alleged that the “company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer”. Atsme✍🏻📧 06:43, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Petrarchan47 - proposed text: In March 2017, 40 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit at the Alameda County Superior Court, a branch of the California Superior Court, asking for damages caused by the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, and demanding a jury trial. On August 10, 2018, Monsanto lost the first decided case. Dewayne Johnson, who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was awarded $289 million dollars in damages after a jury in San Francisco found that Monsanto had failed to adequately warn consumers of cancer risks posed by the herbicide. During closing arguments Johnson's attorney argued that "Monsanto made a choice to not put a cancer warning on the label". The company plans on appealing the verdict on the ground that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys..Atsme✍🏻📧 07:37, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Oppose - The two proposals are too long. Monsanto is a Goliath corporation. This one lawsuit represents a very small part of their overall history. Dedicating anymore than a sentence to the trial represents WP:RECENTISM and WP:UNDUE. The content might be more appropriate at Glyphosate. NickCT (talk) 15:55, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
The outcome of the trial caused their stocks to lose more than 10% ($10 billion). That seems pretty significant to me. Gandydancer (talk) 18:05, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Mercy me, @Smartse:just deleted the whole section for Roundup at Bayer article. Well, here is the information our readers won't see. Diff Nothing to see here folks. @Gandydancer:petrarchan47คุก 21:14, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I struck my comment, it's was simply moved to a new section. petrarchan47คุก 21:32, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Gandydancer: - Have you read WP:RECENTISM? Yes 10bn sounds like a lot of money, but Monsanto has a very long history of stock price fluctuations. We probably aren't going to mention them all. NickCT (talk) 14:36, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Oppose - the including of flamboyant quotes is poor practice in being not informative, undue WEIGHT, and failing NPOV. It is highlighting one line from one side. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:35, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Oppose I'm with NickCT but something more succinct would be fine. e.g.In August 2018, a jury awarded a claimant $289 million for linking his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to Roundup weedkiller; $39 million was awarded for past and future damages, and $250 million in punitive damages. The judge said Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud". The company plans on appealing the verdict on the ground that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys.
The last sentence isn't supported by the reference though and IMO is misleading since the objection isn't that they presented scientific evidence but that it was cherry-picked to support the case. e.g. from ReutersMonsanto said the plaintiff’s experts should have been excluded because although they mainly cited respected, peer-reviewed studies, they inappropriately cherry-picked results and used unreliable methods to support the position that glysophate causes cancer in humans.SmartSE (talk) 16:55, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Comment - this is the first settled case filed by 40 plaintiffs, it ended with a substantial award to the plaintiff, and it was covered in multiple RS. I think it's safe to consider the statements of fact about the case very much DUE. It's a legal case that was settled a month ago so see Wikipedia:Recentism#Recentism_as_a_positive. When the appeal happens, which may take years, the article can simply be updated to reflect the outcome. Atsme✍🏻📧 17:19, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Atsme: There is no way that we can currently judge now whether it is due or not. It could lead to the collapse of Bayer/Monsanto or it could be overturned on appeal, but at the moment we have sources from a very limited time period in Monsanto's history. Obviously it has been in the news and nobody is disputing that it should be included in some form, but given there is a separate article for legal cases involving Monsanto, any information here should be less detailed and summarise the content in the main article. SmartSE (talk) 20:00, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Support both A and B. I'm in favor of a combination of both proposed wordings to create a larger paragraph. Binksternet (talk) 18:12, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
If you'd like to make a proposed version, it's not too late to include it. petrarchan47คุก 21:10, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
As I said earlier, I more or less support A, and I strongly oppose B. I think that this RfC may be becoming a mess (I thought it started out as being about whether or not to include the comment from the judge), but nonetheless I feel like the best thing I can offer is to complicate it further by proposing Version C, which of course I support the most:
C: On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court awarded groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson a total of $289 million for linking his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to Roundup weedkiller; $39 million was awarded for past and future damages, and $250 million in punitive damages. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud". The company plans on appealing the verdict, and issued a statement saying in part that "Today's decision does not change the fact that... more than 800 scientific studies and reviews... support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer."
This way, we present the important statement by the judge, but also present the other side, while being accurate as to both the corporate conduct and the scientific facts, without getting too verbose. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:38, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: I agree that sums up both sides nicely, but is there any reason to include details like the precise date and the plantiff's and judge's names? It's unnecessary in my opinion. Also, should we mention somehow that it was occupational exposure as opposed to through diet? SmartSE (talk) 20:00, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. If we quote the judge, we should name her, and I think it's reasonable to name the plaintiff who has been at the center of the whole case. The date is encyclopedic, so I'd probably keep all of that in. By the way, all I did was copy that part from Version A. But you are right about the exposure, so I'll correct that now before anyone else comments (I hope). --Tryptofish (talk) 20:12, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Scientific facts coming from the manufacturer of the product, especially considering what we know about Monsanto's deceptive practices, might need to be countered.
Consider: The 800 studies are just window dressing. They have nothing to do with cancer. They focus, for example, on whether the substance can trigger eye or skin irritation. There are only around 20 studies on the issue of cancer. And almost all of them show a risk. But Monsanto always refers to the 800 studies because it allows them to better divert attention. Der Speigelpetrarchan47คุก 21:10, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
That Der Speigel quote is the scientific opinion of a journalist. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:05, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Tryptofish - my thoughts are pretty basic - WP:WEIGHT should go to statements of fact in the judgment per RS, not to opinions after the fact because it tends to shift the weight from statements of fact to opinion which is UNDUE. I agree that the science needs to be included, but it belongs in the glyphosate and/or Roundup articles themselves, not in the findings of fact in the judgment of this particular case. Atsme✍🏻📧 21:56, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
By that reasoning, we should not include the comment from the judge, because that also was a statement of opinion. The name of this page is Monsanto. It is appropriate to include what Monsanto says. Using scientific content in another part of the page as a rebuttal to what it says in this section is WP:SYNTH, but quoting the actual response is not. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
My final comment - if the judge's after-the-fact comment affected the final outcome, then we include it but it obviously did not per the judgment. Perhaps one of our legal scholars will weigh-in here. If the science had no bearing on the outcome of the lawsuit, then it is undue with regards to the outcome of the actual case - we should not re-litigate the outcome or make excuses for it. I'll end by saying I'm happy to let consensus decide. Atsme✍🏻📧 23:25, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Apologies, but the goalposts keep moving - so I'll extend my apologies for having to add to my final comment. I agree for the most part with proposal C by Tryptofish but with the caveat that we not include Monsanto's quote of 800 studies because of the issues Petrar brought to light regarding the variations in focus. We should definitely include Monsanto's denial of a link between glyphosate and cancer, as well as their intent to appeal and maybe brief mention that they often cite studies that have found the active ingredient in Roundup to be safe (per the NBC article) without the quote. Atsme✍🏻📧 01:52, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Exactly what I now think. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:03, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
...[Monsanto] issued a statement saying in part that "Today's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews... support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer." - This post-trial company statement goes beyond a succinct summary of the completed trial itself. An intention to appeal is noted (although a filed appeal would be more relevant in this summary context). Beyond that, detail about the company's opinion about the trial outcome belongs in Monsanto legal cases, which is a Monsanto company page created specifically for details like an opinion questioning a jury finding. --Tsavage (talk) 15:00, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
@Tsavage: The appeal was filed just today. How would you suggest adding this to Option 1? petrarchan47คุก 18:02, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Court case briefly described > outcome noted > significant punitive damages aspect briefly explained > appeal filed, briefly explained. It's what all the versions contain, just add the basic facts of the appeal. This should be a short note - a paragraph - with further details in Monsanto legal cases - that page was created to keep unnecessary detail creep like what's happening here out of this main article. --Tsavage (talk) 14:52, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I thought about this "800" thing, and decided to see whether I could get more information about it. And guess what: it looks like both "sides" are probably wrong. I did a PubMed search for "glyphosate cancer": , and there were 81 returns. That's not really an exact number because it doesn't identify only the studies that support Monsanto's position, but the reality is probably a little more than the 20 "on the issue of" claimed in Der Speigel. But it's obviously way, way less than 800, so I am persuaded to agree with other editors that we should not repeat the number stated by Monsanto. Given the constantly changing variety of proposals, I have taken the liberty of striking through part of Proposal C, so as to remove the "800" part. But I'm not removing the quote entirely. My strike-through changes it to "Today's decision does not change the fact that... scientific studies... support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer." I feel rather strongly that, on the one hand, if we are to add anything new about this, we should indeed add the quote from the judge (for the reasons I already stated), but we also need to do more than just say that Monsanto plans an appeal. Look: once you take out the dubious number, the statement is scientifically and factually true, and the NPR source I talked about earlier makes it clear that an NPOV treatment of the verdict needs to indicate that what the jury concluded is not what the science has shown (so this isn't OR on my part), and furthermore a page about Monsanto should include something of the reason stated by Monsanto for the appeal. What would be OR would be for editors to decide that we don't like Monsanto so we don't want to quote their stated reasons for the appeal. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:03, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Sticking to the facts - brief case description (who sued who for what), outcome, brief explanation of significantly large punitive component (eg: judge quote), appeal with basis as filed - is all that's necessary here as a summary. The fact of the trial outcome is not us creating a bias, there is no reason to "balance" that outcome with a post-trial statement of opinion about glyphosate safety (especially since Roundup, not glyphosate, was the issue...confusing) - a detailed explanation of the case can be developed in Monsanto legal cases. --Tsavage (talk) 14:52, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree in principle that the legal cases page is the place for more detail, but I also think that there is still an editorial judgment to be made as to how much detail to have here. I could see further shortening the appeal reason to: The company plans on appealing the verdict, and issued a statement saying in part that "glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer." --Tryptofish (talk) 17:52, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
It sounds like that further shortening is seen by other editors as a good idea, so I'm making that further strike-through in Version C. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:32, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Comment - changing proposed versions doesn't work very well - We should comment on a single fixed version and let that take its course. It would seem more efficient to comment on a dozen straightforward, incremental RfCs than a single one where things keep changing. --Tsavage (talk) 15:13, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Comment - Tsavage, it appears consensus so far supports inclusion, and I'm thinking that we can work out the wording locally using the A-B-C options as a guide. If we can't reach an agreement locally, then we can simply call another RfC. Atsme✍🏻📧 16:19, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Just a thought, and certainly not something I would push on, but I wonder whether it might be a good idea to close the RfC early, and switch over to working it out locally? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:52, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Given how much things have changed, the RfC seems pretty premature considering content and versions weren't really hashed out enough. Local consensus indeed seems like the better route at this point. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:43, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm agreeable. Atsme✍🏻📧 16:33, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Support I'm happy with any of the 3 proposed versions, without the 800 studies quote from Monsanto. -Furicorn (talk) 09:17, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Additional comment. As I mentioned above before the changes to new versions, WP:FRINGE needs to be satisfied with this court case since it ultimately is awarding someone damages for their health issue that contradicts the scientific consensus that glyphosate-based products are not a carcinogenic risk. Here's a modified version based roughly on C:
On August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury in a superior court awarded groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson a total of $289 million for alleging his terminal cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) was linked to Roundup weedkiller. The company plans on appealing the verdict, and issued a statement saying in part that "Today's decision does not change the fact that... scientific studies ... support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer." There is a scientific consensus that there is no evidence of carcinogenicity for labeled uses of glyphosate herbicides.
This may also change depending on any comments received but it seems like this RfC needs to be treated as normal discussion rather than a formal RfC at this point. I added in a Snopes source that gives a decent overview. I removed the judge's quote since the case decision is ultimately a WP:FRINGE statement. I haven't found source putting that quote in proper context to satisfy the fringe guideline yet, but I'm open to including that if one is found. The award and the reasoning (linked to cancer) is what is needed for describing the court case since that's what most sources focus on, and the Snopes source at least covers some of the caveats needed to satisfy FRINGE for what remains. Most sources give this level of detail, so that seems most WP:DUE.
The split in the total amount really isn't needed either, but it shouldn't be a big deal either way. This also ropes in the scientific consensus statement previously agreed upon for other articles in a single sentence with wikilinks so we can remove the larger paragraph below the text in question (though we may need to discuss having such a sentence appear more prominently rather than buried in the future depending on layout changes). There's going to always be some tit-for-tat with someone appealing a verdict, but bringing the consensus statement in the same paragraph helps temper that a bit so as not to give an appearance of WP:GEVAL. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:43, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I have a couple of reasons for not liking that version. First, I do want to include the quote from the judge. Second, I think any statement about scientific consensus here needs to be a quote from Monsanto's appeal rationale, because otherwise we are editorializing on the jury verdict in Wikipedia's voice. I'm ambivalent about WP:ALLEGED here. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:58, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
On your first point, the misconduct, etc. claim is tied directly to claiming a cancer link, so it becomes superfluous. I know some folks want to include it, but we need more than just a single source singling it out. What we really need here is a source detailing the decision in how the cancer link and misconduct were argued to get to that level of detail, but secondary sources currently do not go to that level of depth. I imagine we'll get that in the future, which is why I've advocated for keeping this fairly concise until then due to the interplay between WP:DEADLINE and WP:RECENTISM for expanding unfolding topics.
The fringe issue is what complicates things on your second point here. It is a notable case, but the case is also not WP:MEDRS and is contradicting the consensus. Normally if there's a claim that goes against the scientific consensus, we have to state what the science says broadly without having it comment directly on the case if sources haven't mentioned it yet. That's what we're left with until MEDRS sources comment on the case, so it's a parallel with WP:PARITY. Without the last sentence, the next paragraph on consensus would still remain, but then we're left with the dangling issue of the tit-for-tat issue in that paragraph.
On alleged, this is a case where such language is ok. This is not a scientific body, MEDRS, etc. so some sort of qualifier is needed that doesn't convey scientific authority in order to mention it. I'm not picky on words that do that, so I'm open to suggestions there. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:24, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Tryptofish in that it's not our job to editorialize. We also shouldn't debate the science or Monsanto's beliefs - we simply report the results of the case per the cited sources. Atsme✍🏻📧 05:34, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't think anyone has been talking about editorializing here, just following our policies and guidelines when WP:FRINGE material comes up. That gets dealt with at WP:FRINGELEVEL, and also explicitly at WP:FDESC that we put it in appropriate context. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:44, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Support B - summoned by bot. I think B presents the info fairly and in a balanced way. I'd just change the last sentence a bit to say: The company planned to appeal the verdict on the grounds that the judge should have barred the scientific evidence presented by the Johnson's attorneys.TimTempleton(talk)(cont) 18:50, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Support both versions, A or B. I prefer version B because it is more neutral. JimRenge (talk) 15:56, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Support A and B, preferring B because it's more descriptive. Oppose C because the company's quotation can and should be paraphrased, and D because of framing. DaßWölf 23:03, 25 September 2018 (UTC) (arrived via WP:RFC/A)
Support B. He was not awarded the damages for "linking" or for "alleging", but for as compensation for his disease. (I agree with others that the court probably got it wrong; but that's why it awarded the damages.) Incidentally, it's "non-Hodgkin" not "Non-Hodgkin" – I see this has already been corrected in the article. Maproom (talk) 06:54, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Support D but C is OK I don't much mind which one you choose. My first choice would be D, but C is OK too. JonRichfield (talk) 07:36, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Support something, probably A/B/C (bot summon). This is a significant event in Monsanto's history, and is well referenced, so it has to be covered. However, here we have to choose between reporting only what the sources say (versions A, B and C, essentially the same to my eyes), which leaves the reader with the impression that courts proved Roundup causes cancer, and adding a "by the way, this is bullshit" disclaimer linking to actual cancer studies (D). WP:V requires us to go with the former. That is an article about the company, not about Roundup toxicity, and as long as we do not say in Wikipedia voice that Roundup causes cancer (or "is linked" or whatever) WP:MEDRS does not apply, so we go by general topic sources. TigraanClick here to contact me 09:03, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Tigraan, just a clarification, but are you saying the latter (i.e., the scientific consensus that glyphosate is not carcinogenic), is not verifiable? I guess I'm a little confused by that statement. The reason I proposed at least some mention of the consensus in the paragraph was that WP:FRINGE is clear that we don't let views opposing a consensus stand on their own without putting them in appropriate context. The content in question is medical, and we don't disregard how we handle fringe scientific material based on which article it is in. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:10, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
However, the article here is about the company Monsanto, and a lawsuit they lost. (That is not in itself about scientific/medical information and hence does not involve MEDRS right off the bat.) What you call "appropriate context" would be textbook WP:SYNTH, barring RS describing both the lawsuit and the state of science. Do I regret that (AFAICT) sources do not exist? Yes. (I also regret that, in general, main press articles about anything scientific are abysmal, but that does not remove their RS status.) However that is not worth changing how we operate. To take an over-the-top example, and sorry if that is 'splaining about SYNTH: currently crystal healing states Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect.. I am fairly sure I can find a MEDRS-compliant source saying that the placebo effect does not cure cancer. Yet if I were to change the sentence to Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect, although the latter cannot cure cancer., that is technically true but is carefully designed to give the misleading impression that cancer can be cured by crystal healing (or at least sow doubt). The point is that it is very easy to pick RS to put together a stupid narrative, so we shouldn't do SYNTH, end of story. TigraanClick here to contact me 09:23, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I'll keep this brief since it isn't thread discussion, but what you're suggesting violates WP:GEVAL policy (which is partly there because people frequently stumble over SYNTH questions in these types of discussions of fringe topics). The whole premise of the case is that Roundup caused the plaintiff's cancer, and that contradicts the scientific consensus. Per that policy, we either need to omit it, or else put it in proper context. This being the Monsanto page doesn't change our policies and guidelines on such matters. If a court somewhere ruled that human caused climate change isn't happening, we'd treat it much the same for going against scientific consensus. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:44, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
The header above does say "discussion" though, not "survey"...? I am not sure we understand each other. It is pretty much uncontroversial and shown in every source that the court verdict was based on a certain premise X. The fact we should be describing is "verdict was reached based on argument X". What you are proposing is to include discussion of whether X is actually true or not, when such discussion is absent from sources; of course, if we discuss it, we should not give false balance to ideas without scientific support, but I say we should not include it at all. If I were to propose a new wording (which I will not) I would try to turn the sentence in the best way possible to make clear that "roundup causes cancer" is the court's opinion, not the scientific community's or Wikipedia, but I would not include a "by the way it's wrong" disclaimer.
FWIW the paragraph opening the subsection that is ended by the Dwayne Johnson case already makes a good job of explaining the science consensus: Monsanto has faced controversy in the United States over claims that its herbicide products might be carcinogens. (...) The consensus among national pesticide regulatory agencies and scientific organizations is that labeled uses of glyphosate have demonstrated no evidence of human carcinogenicity. (...). I doubt we should rehash it at every paragraph, any more than we should put disclaimers in film plots about how radiation does not give you superpowers. TigraanClick here to contact me 17:33, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Oh well, I'm concerned about yet another recent edit that I feel needs some discussion: . In my experience, leads typically start with the defining characteristics (not sure if that's the right phrase) of the page subject, and have notable controversies at the end. And I don't see this as what the edit summary calls "Glorification of GMO". To the contrary, the edit strikes me as somewhat POV and WP:RGW. Please understand that I do get it, that controversies about GMOs are indeed a significant part of what makes Monsanto notable, but I feel that putting the controversies first makes it sound like this is, first of all, a company known for wrongdoing, and only secondarily a company that has had highly notable influences on the world as we know it. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:58, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that controversy stuff usually goes later. There's also some aspect of "controversies" really being more WP:FRINGE stuff when this company comes up, so making controversies appear more prominent in broad strokes without giving specifics gets into tricky territory from policy perspectives. The previous version seemed fine with the above in mind, so I restored it. It also doesn't seem like there's anything unduly glorifying GMOs either. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:29, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Obviously, I agree with you about that. But please keep in mind that my bringing up a concern on the talk page, where you happen to agree with me, is not always tantamount to consensus. There would have been nothing wrong with leaving things as they were pending any further discussion. There's a reason I didn't revert it myself, which I could easily have done. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:37, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I did have some concerns I mentioned above outside of agreeing with you in that presentation order can be become a WP:DUE issue in this subject. If not for that, I likely wouldn't have reverted it either even with the edit summary, etc.
That all being said, it looks like some of the controversies content needs some work (more background needed from crop patent articles, etc.). I'll see what I can do to flesh that out in the future, and that may end up affecting how we address some of the controversy subjects in the lead, etc. More of a long-term project though. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:47, 17 October 2018 (UTC)