The lawsuit involving Roundup states that Monsanto failed to warn users of the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
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 glyphosate, and created a campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers, and the general population that its herbicide was safe.
What is the Purpose of Roundup
Roundup is an 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.
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 (such as corn and soy), 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.
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 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, 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.
|Types of Injuries|
|B-cell Lymphoma||Multiple Myeloma|
|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.
Roundup Lawsuit News
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. To read more, click CBS NewsMonsanto 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. To read more, click New York TimesEU 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. To read more, click International Business Times
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. To read more, click AlternetWhat 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.”. To read more, click Huffington Post
For additional news stories, click Levin Law Roundup News
Roundup Lawsuit Videos
How Much Compensation can be Recovered in a Roundup Lawsuit
We will be seeking the following damages for you:
- Past and future medical expenses to treat your cancer, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Past and future mental 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.
FDA and Scientific Studies Regarding Roundup
IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicidesThe 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.To read more, click International Agency for Research on Cancer
Pesticide exposure as risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma including histopathological subgroup analysisIn conclusion our study confirmed an association between exposure to phenoxyacetic acids and NHL and the association with glyphosate was considerably strengthened. To read more, click International Journal of Cancer
Integrative assessment of multiple pesticides as risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among menReported 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. To read more, click Occupational Environmental Medicine
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Specific Pesticide Exposures in Men Cross-Canada Study of Pesticides and HealthOur 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. To read more, click Cancer Epidemiology
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. However, several scientific studies (provided in detail above) conclude there is a link between the use of glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Additionally, 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.
Roundup Settlement Information
As of this time, there have been no large group settlements involving Roundup and the potential link to cancer. Litigation likes this takes many years to resolve, with teams of lawyers spending millions of dollars trying to determine exactly what occurred, and how it could have been prevented. Generally, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few cases are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.