NATIONAL—Roundup is the focus of a new toxic tort lawsuit emerging this past year. According to experts, it’s becoming the biggest mass tort action since asbestos.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a specialized intergovernmental agency of WHO, found glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” In other words, glyphosate caused cancer in lab tests on animals and damaged DNA in human cells. The agency’s findings specifically linked exposure to Roundup to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), (including various subtypes like lymphocytic lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, and more). While Monsanto maintains that Roundup is safe to use, citizens across the US filed more than 1,100 lawsuits. All of these filings are on behalf of agricultural laborers and gardeners suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using glyphosate.
What is RoundUp?
Monsanto’s Roundup a popular herbicides in the world, used by millions of homeowners and farmers to kill weeds damaging crops. Monsanto discovered the herbicidal properties of glyphosate and began marketing Roundup® widely in the mid-1970s. Monsanto was the sole manufacturer of glyphosate-based herbicides from 1974 until 2000, when its U.S. patent on glyphosate expired.
RoundUp's "Probably Carcinogenic" Active Ingredient
Glyphosate is a chemical that disrupts a specific enzyme pathway necessary for most plants to live. However, the genetically modified seeds produced by Monsanto are specifically designed to withstand products containing glyphosate. Therefore, this creates Monsanto’s stranglehold on both facets of the agricultural industry. Because only Monsanto genetically modified crops are resistant to its own herbicide, Roundup and Monsanto created a monopoly in agriculture. Moreover, as Monsanto’s control over the GMO market increases, so does the use of Roundup. Over the last 20 years, about 2.6 billion pounds of herbicide was used on land, per a U.S. Geological survey. As a result, Roundup’s carcinogenic exposure in the United States is immeasurable.
Injuries and Side Effects
The most serious side effect from exposure to glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient) is the development of cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. The individuals most at risk for developing cancer are farm workers and other individuals with workplace exposure to the herbicide, such as employees in garden centers, nurseries, and landscapers. Individuals are exposed to glyphosate from breathing it while spraying, mixing or cleanup, or through drinking water or eating food contaminated with it.
Since the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, more than a thousand Roundup users suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma filed lawsuits against the company.
A Kona Coffee farm owner in Hawaii and a widow of a California farmer filed lawsuits against Monsanto. Likewise, an agricultural worker was exposed to Roundup for over 40 years and was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. So they just recently filed a product liability and personal injury lawsuit against Monsanto in the United States District Court of Florida for failing to provide adequate warning of risks. All of these lawsuits share one thing in common: Farmers used Monsanto Roundup for years, believed it was safe, and were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Monsanto continues to fight these lawsuits, claiming that their product is safe. In fact—to the dismay of many—Monsanto went as far as to file a lawsuit of their own against California, alleging that the state wrongly listed glyphosate as a carcinogen under their Proposition 65 law.
Monsanto continues to fight these lawsuits, claiming that their product is safe. In fact—to the dismay of many—Monsanto filed a lawsuit of their own against California, alleging that the state wrongly listed glyphosate as a carcinogen under their Proposition 65 law.
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Anjelica Cappellino, Lawsuits Allege Link Between Roundup Weed Killer and Cancer, THE EXPERT INSTITUTE (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/lawsuits-allege-link-between-roundup-weed-killer-and-cancer-how-can-experts-help/