Cancer, Brian Watt, Molly Peterson discussed on Morning Edition
Morning edition on easy. I'm Brian watt. When science and the law meet in the courtroom does the jury find the truth to juries in cali-. You have found that the weed killer roundup, and it's maker Monsanto are responsible for causing someone's cancer. And at least two hundred fifty more cases are pending in California court Kate you science reporter Molly Peterson joins me. And Molly the juries have to decide about round up, even when the science might not be ready to. Yeah. It's a long long long standing tension because a court case has this define length, and you have to find an answer and scientific research continues on and on. And you don't always know when you're gonna find a clear answer. So in these cases, what do the people who save round up 'cause they're cancer half to prove exactly they have to prove that the key ingredient roundup is glyphosate causes cancer. And then specifically that it actually caused the individual person's cancer, and that's hard. What does the science actually show lab? Studies show that glyphosate sometimes causes cancer in mice and rats that was enough for an arm of the World Health Organization to decide it probably causes cancer in people. But went comes to people research hasn't found a statistically significant connection between cancer glycemic either because there isn't one or because people are exposed to a lot of carcinogens. And generally, it's hard to tease out the effects of just one thing. So who decides what science a jury hears well judges due at least in the federal cases, the ones everyone in the country are watching they have to follow a rule about scientific evidence. And the interpretation of that rule comes from a case called bear versus Merrill. Dow pharmaceuticals in that case people suspected that a drug called Ben dictum, which women took for morning sickness and that really nineties caused birth defects. So that case established the judge as the gatekeeper now that we have the roundup. Cases. How have the judge has been handling this? Well, they've all been doing it a little bit differently. But in the first case judge Vince Chabra held science week where he heard from all of the experts judge Chevy. I thought science connecting people to life assay to cancer was pretty sparse. He called those studies loosey goosey and were they well, that's the thing to the judge. These studies might have seen that way because they didn't come out with a clear. Yes, or no. But I talked to Dr Steve Goodman about this. He's a clinical research expert at Stanford University. He says the question of whether roundup causes cancer is really an emerging area. What's happening here is that we're exploring claim that even very very very experienced scientists looking at all the data have reasonable disputes about and disagreements about and and any science will look loosey goosey. If you look at it right at the limits of what he can decide empirically. So does this mean a jury could make a decision following the law, and then later it turns out to be scientifically wrong. Yeah. Absolutely. That case about Ben decked in the jury decided that drug did cause birth defects and the drug was taken off the market, and then later scientific research showed that actually didn't cause birth defects. And today it's back on the market. So is it bad? If a jury makes that kind of mistake. Well, it's only a mistake. If you think that illegal verdict is a verdict on the science juries may conclude that something causes cancer at a time when scientists still figuring out the answer with science and with the law. The reason we care about any of these outcomes. That's because we want to know what hazards people might run into and how to keep people safe from them. So with that morning sickness drug. It was taken off the market until we knew it was safe. Is that a mistake? Yeah. Okay. So yeah. This exactly right here. That's the core of the problem. You know, Dr Steve Goodman from Stanford says essentially that there are different goals in resolving a legal dispute and answering scientific questions the goal of most trials is not true. The goal is to win. So right there. There's a tension. Wow. I get this. I feel like I understand how it works in a courtroom. But I don't know if I should be reassured by this, Molly. Yeah. I mean, things that are complicated aren't usually reassuring. But at least we have some understanding Molly Peterson you are a K Q E D science reporter with a law degree, and I'm really glad you're here. Thanks, brian. We've been talking a lot about Monsanto and round up on K Q E D. But we've also talked a lot about kids and these bay curious team recently got a question from a listener who wanted to know where do the kids live in the bay area cake. Data journalist Lisa pick off white dove into the data to answer this question. Haley good morning. So San Francisco is known for having few kids. So where do kids and their parents live in the bay area? Well, like in the rest of the country kids, their parents tend to live in single family homes, and those single family homes tend to be in the suburbs. So the most kids in the bay area live in Santa Clara county, and that has a very easy reason why which is the most people in the bay area and Santa Clara county. However, when we look at the percentage of age ranges to kids, we see the largest percentage of kids in contra Costa county, and that numbers also grow. Growing in Solano in this this really because you can find cheaper single family home in those places. That's what demographers who have spoken with have said they've said that, you know, people are still looking for larger places to live whenever family, and that's where they're landing right now. So this seems like a normal trend. Young people live in the city, then they moved to the suburbs win. They have kids is this something we think will continue this way. This is a really interesting question because we're not sure I've talked to several demographers and city planners and they're concerned about some upcoming trends, which is basically that millennials are having kids later in life. They're having fewer kids, and they are not buying as many homes as people used to. So when city planners are looking twenty years in the future. They're not sure if this trend will entirely continue, maybe we'll see more people and multi dwelling homes, and it also is hitting that a lot of millennials especially wanna live closer to where. Are they work? I don't know whether millennials will be able to make that work. So we'll have to see how this plays out K QB, data journalist, Lisa pickoff, white, and you have a map online about this. Yes. You can go to bake curious dot org and see how your local neighborhood stocks up to others and terms of how many kids live there and what proportion thank you. Thank you. You're listening to morning edition on Brian watt will be back with more local news in a bit. But let's go to the roads. Now at Joe McConnell. Overall, not terrible. But we do have our problems and the crash.