Roundup: Controversial Weed Killer’s Alleged Link to Cancer

Roundup: Controversial Weed Killer’s Alleged Link to Cancer
Roundup: Controversial Weed Killer’s Alleged Link to Cancer

Roundup is the most widely used chemical weed killer in food and agricultural production in history. This is partially a result of the extensive adoption of genetically engineered crops now grown on over 175 million acres in the United States and more than 440 million acres around the world. Roundup is used on lawns, home gardens, crops, parks, roadsides, and forests.

Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, has no smell or color. Monsanto introduced the chemical in 1974 as an effective method of killing weeds while leaving plants and crops intact. It is sold in over 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 kinds of crops.

Glyphosate is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which says it has ‘low toxicity’ and recommends people avoid entering the field for 12 hours after it has been applied.

However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen.’

Personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who are seeking legal information and advice on health problems resulting from exposure to glyphosate. The firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.

Roundup Legal Issues

In January 2017, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan ruled that California can require Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, to label its herbicide as a possible cancer threat. California would be the first state to require such labeling for the weed killer, used by home gardeners and farmers everywhere.

In a separate decision, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is supervising Roundup Products Liability Litigation in San Francisco. The multidistrict litigation (MDL) was formed in October and has attracted 46 lawsuits. An MDL is sometimes created to consolidate complex litigation to be tried in one court, where one judge presides, thereby streamlining the process for more efficiency and minimizing cost. Lawsuits in an MDL all have similar allegations.

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, especially its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they, or on behalf of someone who is deceased, developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup for several or more years.

Research on Roundup’s Alleged Link to Cancer

Leading experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced in March 2015, that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” This decision was reached by IARC based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to examine the carcinogenicity of five pesticides. This review by IARC has led the European Parliament to call for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and to put severe restrictions on agricultural use.

Alleged Health Risks due to Glyphosate

New scientific evidence reveals that probable harm to human health may begin at ultra-low levels of glyphosate, for example 0.1 parts per billions (ppb). Popular foods tested for glyphosate showed between 298.47 ppb and at levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb.

Anresco Laboratories, San Francisco, California, performed the testing and analysis. Anresco is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered laboratory that has performed expert food safety testing since 1943. The laboratory discovered that well-known products tested for glyphosate. Original Cheerios measured levels as high as 1,125,3 ppb. Other high levels were found in Orios, Doritos, Goldfish, Stacy’s Pita Chips, and Ritz Crackers, among 29 foods tested. New research also shows that Roundup causes liver and kidney damage in rats.

“It’s important for individuals and parents to understand that glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing and is not broken down by cooking or baking. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in food for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen or processed,” according to the report.

In addition, a new report by Food Democracy Now! and the Detox Project exposed the shocking levels of glyphosate contamination in popular foods. As a result, they are calling for the EPA Inspector General to investigate the agency’s failure to properly test and regulate glyphosate, end the practice of pre-harvest spraying of Roundup as a drying agent and release ALL of the industry data submitted to federal agencies, but kept hidden from the American public as “trade secrets.”

Plaintiffs’ Allegations Involving Roundup

A plaintiff in Illinois who contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup, charges in a new lawsuit filed in federal court that Monsanto was aware of the cancer risks as far back as the 1980, but chose not to disclose those risks.

Roundup: Controversial Weed Killer’s Alleged Link to Cancer
Roundup: Controversial Weed Killer’s Alleged Link to Cancer

Another plaintiff from Effingham County, Illinois, sprayed Roundup on a regular basis for decades. He filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Count for the Southern District of Illinois, alleging that the manufacturer, Monsanto Company of St. Louis, Missouri, pressured the EPA not to label the herbicide as carcinogenic, and aggressively marketed it as “safer than table salt.”

“This chemical interferes with the metabolic process, as a method for killing plants. There is no reason to believe it wouldn’t have the same effect on people, John Ray, a mass tort expert said. “The question is how much exposure is necessary to cause problems. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the tip of the iceberg. This chemical could affect the future of our species. It will be decades before we know everything that it did.”


Legal Help Regarding Glyphosate

Parker Waichman LLP has years of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. If you or someone you know has been affected by health issues resulting from Roundup or glyphosate exposure, we urge you to contact Parker Waichman personal injury lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).