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Monsanto RoundUp and Cancer
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By Jane Mundy
Roundup, a weed killer made by Monsanto, is believed to “probably” cause cancer. Recent evidence indicates that glyphosate, the active chemical in Roundup, is the probable human carcinogen. Some individuals diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Leukemia are filing claims against the agricultural giant, which has resulted in Monsanto facing Roundup consumer fraud class action lawsuits and Roundup false advertising lawsuits.
Monsanto is a U.S. agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that sells their products to farmers worldwide. Since 1974 (after it stopped making Agent Orange and its pesticide DDT was banned) Monsanto has been selling to both farmers and consumers its blockbuster herbicide Roundup, which is a weed killer containing glyphosate. By 2001, about 85-90 million pounds of Roundup weed killer was used in American agriculture. By 2007 that amount more than doubled.
Due to recent scientific studies and research, some countries have banned products containing glyphosate, including Roundup. In March 2016, several member states in the European Union reached a deadlock in a 15-year approval for Roundup.
Exposure to Roundup is not limited to farmers and agricultural workers. It is widely sold as an “all purpose” weed killer to consumers. For instance, a California federal judge on July 7, 2016 told Monsanto it must face charges from a consumer who alleges the glyphosate in Roundup lawn spray caused her to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Roundup Cancer and Those at Risk
In February 2016 the FDA said it would start testing for Roundup residue in food.
A number of Roundup cancer studies have found evidence linking the weed killer’s main ingredient, glyphosate, to serious side effects. The most serious Roundup side effects include:
In 1996, the New York Attorney General filed a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto for falsely advertising the weed killer as being “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds and fish. The lawsuit claimed that Monsanto was falsely telling farmers and agricultural workers that Roundup was non-toxic.
Lawsuits have been filed across the US alleging that Monsanto has known about the link between glyphosate and cancer since the 1980's but failed to inform the public about the danger. A number of plaintiffs are asking for their cases to be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Los Angeles, California. Monsanto is asking federal judges to centralize 21 Roundup lawsuits into an MDL in the Southern District of Illinois.
As of August 4, 2016 at least 26 Roundup lawsuits have been filed nationwide by 12 different law firms. Monsanto says it is facing at least 200 more lawsuits after its motions for dismissal were denied in some cases. Courthouse News (July 1, 2016) reports that a federal judge in Honolulu denied Monsanto's request to dismiss a claim brought by Christine Shephard, a former coffee farmer who claims Roundup caused her non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Christine and Kenneth Shephard filed their lawsuit just one week after Monsanto filed a claim in California that attempted to prevent the addition of glyphosate from the state's list of known carcinogens.
In May 2016, Four Nebraskan agricultural workers filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, blaming its Roundup weed killer for their non-Hodgkin lymphoma after many years of exposure. The lawsuit also accuses Monsanto of purposely misleading consumers about the safety of Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate. Further, Monsanto mislabeled the product in defiance of the "body of recognized scientific evidence linking the disease to exposure to Roundup."
California farmer Jack McCall used Monsanto Roundup for nearly 30 years, during which time he developed cancer symptoms. After McCall died in December 2015 from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto. (Case No. 2:16:cv-01609)
In April 2015, a Roundup class action lawsuit was filed in California, accusing Monsanto of false advertising for claiming that Roundup is harmless to human health because “glyphosate targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” (Case No: BC78 942)
EPA determined that laboratories hired by Monsanto to conduct Roundup studies committed fraud. Monsanto hired Craven Laboratories in 1991 to perform studies for Roundup. Later that year, the owner of Craven Laboratories and three of its employees were indicted for fraudulent laboratory practices. Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT) was hired by Monsanto to study Roundup’s toxicity levels in the early 1970s. EPA audited the data from IBT, found “routine falsification of data” and convicted IBT executives of fraud.
In the Shephard lawsuit above, Monsanto said Christine Shephard suspected Roundup long before filing the action on Feb. 2, 2016, and as a result should be dismissed as outside the two-year statute of limitations for tort claims. But US District Judge Michael Seabright wrote that “it is not apparent on the face of the complaint that the statute of limitations has run, especially considering the allegations regarding the 2015 designation [of Roundup as a probable carcinogen] by the WHO."
Roundup Statute of Limitations
Recent studies by researchers and the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that Roundup can cause cancer and other serious health problems.
Monsanto Roundup Studies and Research
March 2015: WHO studied the research on Roundup cancer links and concluded it is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Research shows that Monsanto has known Roundup weed killer is carcinogenic for several decades, but buried the risks as sales of Roundup increased.
October 2008: The International Journal of Cancer published a Swedish study that concluded exposure to glyphosate doubled the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma within less than 10 years.
September 2003: A US study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found over 3,400 farmworkers in the midwest had higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma associated with glyphosate exposure.
November 2001: A Canadian study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers found a dose-response relationship between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Roundup still remains the most widely used herbicide in the US and worldwide. Glyphosate products are used on more than 50 percent of American croplands and generate $6 billion in revenue for Monsanto every year. Monsanto denies any link between Roundup and cancer.
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My husband has used this product for years and still has this product in his sprayer for his lawn service. He has no symptoms now but will he have rights later if he does get cancer?
By the way he won't be using it anymore after reading about it on this website. Thank you for the information.
What about all the pets that have been harmed from Round-up, We have had 3 pets all come down with cancer after spraying round up on grass along fence lines and other area's. Then the grass grows again contaminated with round up and the pets eat the new grass.
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