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Monsanto Glyphosate Lawsuit: Expert Testimony Deemed Credible Enough for Trial

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After years of controversy over the safety of Roundup, a Judge allows experts to testify about the link between Roundup and cancer.

San Francisco, CARoundup Weed Killer has been used by homeowners, schools, gardeners, and farmers since its development in the 1970s. Its usage has increased exponentially since the 1990s when genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were developed that can survive heavy applications of Roundup, enabling farmers to kill all types of weeds but not the desired crops. In 2015, an arm of the World Health Organization (France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer “IARC”), designated glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a probable human carcinogen. Thousands of Monsanto glyphosate lawsuits over alleged Roundup cancer followed. Now Plaintiffs have cleared a crucial hurdle. A judge has ruled that the preliminary opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were not “junk science,” and should be permitted for a jury’s consideration.

Studies Linking Roundup and Cancer



Because the United States federal government has never regulated Roundup, there is limited federal empirical research into the chemical’s effects on people, animals, and the environment. One of the early studies that linked Roundup to adverse health conditions was published in 2003. Researchers studied close to 3,500 farmers living in the Midwest during the 1980’s who routinely worked with glyphosate. They concluded that these farmers suffered a higher rate of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than the general population.

But the issue really came to the fore in 2015 when the IARC declared that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic in humans.” The basis for this finding was twofold. First, a number of animal studies (mainly studies conducted on mice and rats) showed a link between cancerous tumors and the active ingredient in Roundup. Second, scientists who applied glyphosate to human cells in a lab setting found that it damaged human DNA. IARC researchers found traces of glyphosate in the urine and blood of farmers who were tested, and corroborated earlier studies that showed a link between the chemical and higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In the most recent legal proceedings to determine whether expert testimony would be helpful in the Monsanto trial, the Plaintiff’s expert and Monsanto’s expert butted heads over a 2017 study that concluded Roundup was safe. Plaintiff’s expert, Beate Ritz, an epidemiologist from the University of California, Los Angeles, testified that prior studies and literature lead her to conclude that Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to Ritz, the 2017 study had “major flaws” in its methodology. Monsanto’s expert, Lorelei Mucci, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, praised the study, concluding that there is no correlation between Roundup and cancer. Both experts will eventually present their testimony to a jury at trial.

Why Isn’t Roundup Regulated?



Despite these findings, the EPA and its European equivalent both maintain that glyphosate is probably not carcinogenic—and thus do not regulate it. However, because states are free to regulate more stringently than federal law, the state of California lists glyphosate as a “known carcinogen.” California is the most agriculturally productive state in the U.S. Now, as of 2018, the EPA is currently investigating whether it should change its stance on Roundup and begin to regulate use of the chemical. In December of 2017, the EPA reported that glyphosate is “not likely” to be carcinogenic in humans, but that further study is needed.

What Are the Risks of Glyphosate Exposure?



In addition to the link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, recent studies have found that glyphosate exposure may cause a number of other health conditions, including liver damage, kidney damage, and disruption to the endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates hormones. The possible disruption to the endocrine system is thought to be related to the higher incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people who are exposed to Roundup.

Some other symptoms people who use Roundup may experience include burning eyes, itchy eyes, and a runny, burning or itchy nose. It is recommended that people wash their hands and change their clothes after using Roundup.

Roundup Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit



After the IARC’s pronouncement, Monsanto, the company that produces Roundup, was sued by thousands of people who claimed to suffer adverse effects as a result of glyphosate exposure. In October of 2016, many of these lawsuits were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (“MDL”). Monsanto is still facing hundreds of other lawsuits across the country in both state and federal courts. The Plaintiffs claim that Monsanto has known its product caused cancer but failed to warn the public of the risks. They are seeking damages to cover the costs associated with their cancer treatment. The MDL is being heard by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who is presiding over more than 400 Monsanto claims. Judge Chhabria deemed the evidence heard from experts thus far as “rather weak,” yet the matter will proceed to jury.

Roundup Cancer Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a defective products lawyer who may evaluate your Roundup Cancer claim at no cost or obligation.
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