The Monsanto Roundup lawsuits claim the company failed to warn users of the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
Our law firm is seeking compensation for individuals who have experienced significant exposure to Roundup, and have been diagnosed with a form of B cell or T Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, including its many subtypes such as follicular lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and hairy cell leukemia.
We have been handling claims involving defective products since 1955, and each year we teach more than 1,500 attorneys how to successfully handle these types of lawsuits. We are listed in Best Lawyers in America and The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
Why Are Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits Being Filed
As part of the Monsanto lawsuits, plaintiff attorneys claim Monsanto has known for more than 30 years there is a link between the use of Roundup and cancer. However, the company intentionally made the decision not to warn the public, and even marketed the product to be as safe as table salt and practically non-toxic to humans, pets, birds and fish.
Litigation documents show that Monsanto created fake data and attacked legitimate studies exposing the dangers of Roundup, and created a campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers, and the general population that its herbicide was safe. The documents even show that Monsanto colluded with the EPA to refute the connection between Roundup and cancer.
Roundup Injuries & 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, and B-cell lymphoma.
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.
|Types of Injuries|
|People Most at Risk|
|Farm Workers||Garden Center Employees|
Each year, approximately 70,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Symptoms include fever, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, stomach pain, chest pain and loss of appetite. The most common form is B-cell lymphoma, which makes up 90% of all cases. T-cell makes up approximately 10%. Less than 1% of cases are NK-cell.
Treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma includes chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, biological therapy, and radiation.
In addition to cancer, health dangers linked to glyphosate include:
- kidney disease
- liver damage
- inflammatory bowel disease
- ALS (“Lou Gehrig's Disease”)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- male sterility
- respiratory disorders
Attorney Mike Papantonio Discusses the Monsanto Roundup Lawsuits
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Roundup Lawsuit
If you experienced cancer as a result of Roundup, we will seeking the following damages for you:
- Past and future medical expenses to treat your cancer, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Past and future pain and suffering that results from your injuries.
- Wage loss, if any.
- Other economic losses you might have sustained as a result of your illness and treatment.
- Punitive damages, if appropriate.
As of October 2018, more than 500 lawsuits were pending in federal court against Monsanto by individuals claiming to have suffered cancer from exposure to Roundup. The cases are being heard by Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California.
Roundup Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
As of this time, there have been no large mass tort settlements involving Roundup and the potential link to cancer. However, the first bellwether trial involving an individual diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma resulted in a $289 million jury verdict against Monsanto in August 2018.
Generally, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few lawsuits are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.
What is the Purpose of Roundup
Roundup is a broad-spectrum herbicide utilized to kill weeds and grasses that are unattractive or damage crops. Its active ingredient is glyphosate. Monsanto discovered the potential use of glyphosate as an herbicide in 1970, and began marketing it in 1974. Since its introduction in the 1970s, the use of glyphosate-based herbicides has increased by 10,000% in terms of frequency and amount of application.
Each year approximately 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops, commercial nurseries, lawns, driveways, sidewalks, parks and golf courses. Much of this increase in use has been caused by the expansion of genetically modified (GMO) crops sold as Monsanto's “Roundup Ready” seeds, which crops are designed to resist the killing power of glyphosate products.
Monsanto is the largest producer in the world of GMO seeds designed to be resistant to glyphosate products. The company earned $4.8 billion in revenue in 2015 from its sales of Roundup.
Glyphosate is an organophosphorus phosphonate that destroys weeds by attacking the enzyme 5-enolpyruvoylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (“EPSPS”), which causes a reduction in aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. These amino acids are essential to the growth of plants. Glyphosate is the most widely-used herbicide in the world.
Glyphosate is an analogue, or synthetic version, of an amino acid known as glycine. When applied to weeds, glyphosate prevents the synthesis of certain amino acids and the function of what is known as the “shikimate pathway.” This “pathway” is how plants convert food into energy, and thus is the basis of plant metabolism. According to M.I.T. Research scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff, “Glyphosate...interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die.”
Monsanto sells numerous glyphosate-containing herbicidal products to various markets throughout the world, the largest and most lucrative of which is the agricultural industry. Far from exhaustive, some of the company's most used glyphosate-containing products include PowerMAX, PRO, ProDry, PROMAX, QuikPRO, Ultra, WeatherMAX, UltraMAX, AquaMaster, and RT Master II.
The agrochemical company also broadly markets genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”) under the tradename “Ready” (e.g. Roundup Ready Corn), that are engineered to be more resistant to weeds, pests, herbicides, and pesticides. Its GMOs are noteworthy in their ability to withstand the toxic herbicidal effects of glyphosate, allowing for simultaneous defense against invasive vegetation while enabling robust crop yields.
Monsanto is part of a group of corporations that are collectively referred to as the “Big 6”, which together dominate the agricultural input market through their ownership of the world’s seed, pesticide and biotechnology industries. The remaining Big 6 corporations include BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Dow Chemical Company, and Syngenta.
Roundup Lawsuit News
Jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million in Roundup cancer trial:
A San Francisco jury ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease. The lawsuit brought by Dewayne Johnson was the first to go to trial among hundreds filed in state and federal courts saying Roundup causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Published in CBS News - Roundup Jury Verdict
Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades:
"The internal correspondence noted by Johnson could support a jury finding that Monsanto has long been aware of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicides are carcinogenic … but has continuously sought to influence the scientific literature to prevent its internal concerns from reaching the public sphere and to bolster its defenses in products liability actions," Judge Curtis Karnow wrote. Published in The Guardian - Monsanto Concealed Risks
Unsealed Documents Raise Questions on Monsanto Weed Killer:
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto. Publish in New York Times - Monsanto Roundup Unsealed Documents
Under fire by U.S. politicians, World Health Organization defends its claim that an herbicide causes cancer:
The World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer agency is firmly defending its finding that a widely used herbicide is "probably carcinogenic" despite reports cited by key House lawmakers. Published in Science
Popular weed killer faces lawsuit over cancer claims:
Lawyers base their cancer claims on a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization. This organization concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic." The organization found that glyphosate could cause cancer in animals during lab test, and found the chemical could damage human DNA. Published in CBS News - Weed Killer Cancer Claims
Monsanto Sues California Over Herbicide Classification:
Monsanto on Thursday stepped up its defense of Roundup, a widely used weed killer, by filing a lawsuit in California seeking to prevent glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide, from being added to the state’s list of known carcinogens. The company said it filed the suit against the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the agency’s acting director, Lauren Zeise, in California state court. The state agency said in September that it planned to add glyphosate to the list after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as a probable human carcinogen last March. Published in New York Times - California Roundup Classification
EU approves continued use of chemical in Roundup Weedkiller despite cancer fears:
Glyphosate, a potentially carcinogenic weedkiller chemical, has been given the go-ahead for continued use in the EU after European health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis granted it an extension. The usage of glyphosate – most commonly found in products such as Monsanto's Roundup Weedkiller – was due to expire on Thursday (30 June 2016), but will now continue to be used for another 18 months. Published in International Business Times - EU Approves Roundup Use
Federal Lawsuit: Farmers Claim Monsanto's Controversial 'Roundup' Weedkiller Gave Them Cancer:
Despite Monsanto's claim that its Roundup weed-killer is "safe enough to drink," four Nebraska farmers say the widely used herbicide gave them non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans" but Monsanto has promoted Roundup as "safe enough to drink," the farmers say in their federal lawsuit. Published in Alternet - Roundup Gave Farmers non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
What Is Going On With Glyphosate? EPA’s Odd Handling of Controversial Chemical:
Monsanto has been calling on EPA to defend glyphosate against the cancer claims since the IARC classification came out in March 2015. A March 23, 2015 EPA email string released as part of a Freedom of Information request details Monsanto’s efforts to get EPA to “correct” the record on glyphosate “as it relates to carcinogenicity.”. Published in Huffington Post - EPA Controversial Handling of Roundup
FDA and Scientific Studies Regarding Roundup
IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides
The IARC Working Group that conducted the evaluation considered the significant findings from the US EPA report and several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it gave negative results in tests using bacteria. One study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby.Published in International Agency for Research on Cancer - Herbicide Evaluation
Pesticide exposure as risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma including histopathological subgroup analysis
In conclusion our study confirmed an association between exposure to phenoxyacetic acids and NHL and the association with glyphosate was considerably strengthened. Published in International Journal of Cancer - Pesticide Exposure Cancer Risk
Integrative assessment of multiple pesticides as risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among men
Reported use of several individual pesticides was associated with increased NHL incidence, including . . . glyphosate, and sodium chlorate. A subanalysis of these "potentially carcinogenic" pesticides suggested a positive trend of risk with exposure to increasing numbers. Published in Occupational Environmental Medicine - Pesticides Tied to non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Men
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Specific Pesticide Exposures in Men Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and Health
Our objective in the study was to investigate the putative associations of specific pesticides with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. . . . We concluded that NHL was associated with specific pesticides after adjustment for other independent predictors. Published in Cancer Epidemiology - Canadian Study on Pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Glyphosate was originally classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group C) in 1985 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, after the EPA studies were later re-evaluated, in 1991, the EPA changed its classification to non-carcinogenic in humans (Group E). The International Agency for the Research of Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organization, disagrees with the EPA, and has recently classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).
Monsanto is trying to debunk IARC’s claims, arguing that several other regulatory agencies from Argentina, Canada, and South Africa have found Glyphosate safe in humans. However, even if some of the studies relied upon by Monsanto have found no link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, IARC’s researchers found sufficient evidence that exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient can cause DNA damage in human cells. This type of damage may require a very long latency time (10 years or more) before its effects become manifest, as shown by a study published in the International Journal of Cancer. IARC also rejects most of these Monsanto-submitted studies because they are deemed not neutral enough.
What’s most concerning is that a recent analysis performed by The Alliance for Natural Health USA found glyphosate residues in food products where it was never intended to be, such as breakfast cereals, coffee creamer and eggs. One of the reasons why the herbicide was widely publicized as safe was its rapid biodegradability. However, if glyphosate residues are present in such alarming levels in food and water, it means it’s accumulating in animal and human tissues. Additionally, modern commercial pesticide formulations such as Roundup may contain additional substances (adjuvants) that can increase glyphosate’s toxicity and carcinogenicity. Most of these formulations were created several years after the original 1991 EPA assessment and were thus never taken into account.
Furthermore, the toxicological relevance of several other analogues of glyphosate such as the N-acetyl-glyphosate is often underestimated. The latter herbicide is mostly used just for GMOs, and it’s less toxic than the former. However, N-acetyl-glyphosate and the other chemical analogues may also contribute additively to the overall glyphosate exposure as they keep accumulating in animal and maybe human tissues.
Roundup Recall Information
As of this time, there has not been a recall of Roundup as a result of its link to cancer. In fact, the EPA takes the position that Roundup has no "meaningful risks" to human health, and that it does not cause cancer in humans. However, internal documents discovered during national litigation show Monsanto was colluding with the EPA and scientists for decades to create studies refuting a link between the use of glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen to humans and animals. The IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
In March 2017, the State of California became the first governmental entity in the United States to declare glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to be a known carcinogen.