Disorder In The Court - A Supernaturally Dumb Lawsuit Over The Word 'Natural'

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The terms "natural" and "organic" have spurred a cottage industry in which companies and internet sleazebags compete to suck money out of the thoroughly manipulated and misguided American public. And it's been a smashing success! 

For example, how many of you know that organic foods:

  1. Are grown using chemicals -  pesticides and herbicides. To be certified organic, farmers are permitted to use chemicals from a different list, all of which have their own properties, including toxicity. 
  2. Offer no additional nutritional value than their conventional counterparts.
  3. Cost a whole lot more than their conventional counterparts.

And did you know that:

  1. Lead is natural
  2. So is uranium
  3. And so are dioxins (1)

So, let's just call this a mini-lesson about how useless and confusing the two terms are. Too bad Alexandra Axon doesn't read ACSH or she'd know how scientifically ridiculous her lawsuit against Florida’s Natural and its parent company, Citrus World Inc. 

Or is it?

Or perhaps she does know. The Brooklyn woman is suing the company as part of a class-action lawsuit by The Richman Law Group, against the juice maker, claiming that the presence of trace quantities of glyphosate in the juice means the claim "natural" cannot be used on the label.

Hmm. Glyphosate. Monsanto. It's only natural to sniff out a hidden agenda when lawyers smell a fat payday against Monsanto (2). And that's the case here. There have been more than 300 cases filed against the company in a San Francisco federal court by cancer victims who claim that the chemical caused their cancers.

And who can blame Axon for wanting a piece of the action? On August ninth a California jury ruled against the company and awarded $289 ( $39.2 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages) for failing to warn Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper, who claimed that the herbicide caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, about the risk of cancer from glyphosate. The only problem is that glyphosate does not cause cancer, something that my colleague Dr. Alex Berezow wrote about last year (See Glyphosate-Gate: IARC's Scientific Fraud).

Despite the overwhelming evidence against the carcinogenicity of the chemical, when you follow the formula:

The name Monsanto + Any chemical or product + Any California jury + California anti-chemical craziness

The verdict is virtually guaranteed to be determined in advance: Defendant is doomed regardless of evidence, lack of evidence, whether the defendant even had cancer, or whether the day of the trial ends in "Y." 

But this article is not about cancer. It's about how ridiculous the Brooklyn "natural" claim is. In the suit, Axon claims that Florida’s Natural Growers orange juice should not contain the term "natural" because it contains minuscule amounts of glyphosate. How much? An independent lab determined that the juice contained 5.11 nanograms per mL. Is this a lot? A little? Does it matter? Let's do some math. Perhaps it will even be correct (3).

  • 5.11 nanograms = 0.0000051 mg. This is the amount of glyphosate in 1 mL of the juice.
  • 8 ounces = 237 mL 
  • So, one 8-oz glass of the OJ will contain 0.0012 mg of glyphosate.
  • The LD50of glyphosate in rats is about 2,800 mg.
  • So, it would take 233,333,333 glasses of OJ to get enough glyphosate to kill a rat (4).
  • That's a lot of #%#%#ing OJ

So, the orange juice isn't going to harm anyone or anything, but is it "natural?" This is a rather existential question because although the EPA doesn't list a maximum allowable quantity of glyphosate for orange juice, it does for oranges - 0.5 ppm, which is 100-times more than the amount found in the OJ. Which means:

If the OJ isn't "natural," neither is the orange.

Which also means:

Nothing on Earth is natural

Because with the right analytical instrument something man-made will be found in every food on earth. Do you see how silly this is?

But it gets sillier. Also in the suit are claims that the OJ cannot be called natural because of "deaeration, the process of removing oxygen as a preservative; blending and long-term storage."

Well isn't that interesting? Mixing the juice, sucking out the oxygen, and putting it in a carton also means it cannot be natural. Which makes me wonder about milk.

NOT NATURAL because they were Pasteurized, mixed and put in a carton.

So, neither is...

NOT NATURAL

Because it's in a container. Photo: Modern Farmer

Nor is...

NOT NATURAL

...because the milk is being collected in a pail! So, the only way to drink truly natural milk would be...

Original photo: OffTheGridNews

This article is obviously stupid, but I couldn't think of a better way to describe what is going on in the court in Brooklyn. 

So I had to write it. Naturally. 

NOTES:

(1) Dioxins are formed by volcanoes and forest fires. They were in the environment long before any human roamed the earth.

(2) Sorry, Monsanto haters, you'll need a new placard. The company was recently bought by Bayer. 

(3) But more likely not. I use math in my articles from time to time. I don't believe I've ever gotten it right, even once. Go ahead. Shoot me down. I'm used to it. 

(4) There is no LD50 data for glyphosate humans, but the very low toxicity is consistent in other animal models. There have been fatalities from intentional exposure of the chemical, but these deaths are attributed to other ingredients that help the chemical get into plants