After the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) last March announced the pesticide is “probably carcinogenic to humans” and that a “positive association has been observed for non-Hodgkin lymphoma”, the OEHHA followed. It added glyphosate to the state of California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer. This decision is good news for the 37 lawsuits consolidated last November in Northern California where the first Monsanto cancer lawsuits were filed. One of which is a wrongful death lawsuit filed last March.
California attorneys filed the wrongful death suit against Monsanto on behalf of Teri McCall, whose husband Anthony was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. On December 26, 2015, he passed away. Three years previously, the family dog also developed lymphoma and died at age six—he played in the fields Mr. McCall had sprayed with Roundup.
(Ironically, false advertising lawsuits include Monsanto proclaiming in an advertisement that “Roundup can be used where kids and pets will play and breaks down into natural material.” It depicts a person with his head in the ground and a pet dog standing in an area that has been treated with Roundup.)
The McCalls’ operated a farm in Cambria, California for over 40 years. Mr. McCall only used the herbicide Roundup, believing Monsanto’s claim that it was safe. Monsanto went so far as to claim Roundup is “safe as table salt”. But lawsuits state that Monsanto knew for decades that glyphosate, the active chemical in Roundup, is a carcinogen. And Monsanto allegedly knew before glyphosate was first approved by the EPA that the chemical includes a cancer risk.
Monsanto Cancer Evidence
The rest of the US needs to get on the same page as California, France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Italy, all of which have raised concerns about Roundup and are debating whether to relicense the herbicide. Based on the IARC findings, the French Minister of Ecology has called for a ban on glyphosate herbicides across the EU, according to The Guardian.
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"The risk of cancer may be present for individuals ranging from those who simply use the product in the yards or gardens to individuals who work in landscaping or on farms,” said Alan Christopher of Consumer Safety Watch, a consumer advocate organization.
Roundup accounted for almost $2.8 billion in sales in 2000, and outsold other herbicides by a margin of five to one. At that time, the herbicide was responsible for almost 50 percent of Monsanto’s revenue and to this day glyphosate remains one of the world’s largest herbicides by sales volume.
If you have been exposed to Roundup, consider seeking legal help. As of last August, Monsanto said it faces over 200 lawsuits after its motions for dismissal were denied in some cases.