Roundup weed killer, used agriculturally for decades and manufactured by chemical giant Monsanto, has become the subject of hundreds of lawsuits alleging Roundup causes cancer. Roundup (active ingredient glyphosate) is a herbicide used extensively by farmers and agricultural workers throughout the United States as a weed killer.
For decades, Monsanto has denied that Roundup causes cancer and represented that Roundup is safe. Recent studies by the World Health Organization, however, have shown Roundup may cause cancer and cause other serious health problems.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization concluded Roundup is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Research shows Monsanto knew for decades Roundup is carcinogenic, but concealed the risk from the public.
What is Roundup?
Roundup is a herbicide used to kill weeds that grow near agricultural crops. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was discovered by Monsanto as a herbicide in 1970 and began marketing it in 1974. At the time Roundup was discovered, Monsanto’s primary pesticide was dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which at that time was widely used in American agriculture, was shown to be toxic to humans. DDT was banned in the U.S. in 1972.
Today, Roundup is the most widely used week killer in the world. From 2001 to 2007 alone, the use of Roundup in the United States increased from approximately 85-90 million pounds to 185 million pounds annually. In 2015 alone, Monsanto earned $4.8 billion in revenue from its sales of Roundup.
Monsanto actually developed genetically modified crops that were resistant to Roundup. These “Roundup Ready Crops” are resistant to Roundup allowing famers using these crops to liberally spray Roundup around the crops to keep weeds from growing. According to Monsanto, Roundup Ready crops substantially improve a farmer’s ability to control weeds, since Roundup can be sprayed on plants during the growing season without harming the crop. It is estimated that 70 percent of corn and cotton and 90 percent of soybean production are now genetically-modified Roundup Ready crops.
In addition to Roundup, Monsanto sells a number of other glyphosate-containing products including PowerMax, PROMAX, PRO, ProDry, QuickPRO, WeatherMAX, UltraMAX, AquaMaster, RT Master II and Ultra.
Efforts to Conceal Links to Cancer
Documents recently released from lawsuits consolidated in a San Francisco federal court suggest that Monsanto falsified data and attacked legitimate studies that revealed the dangers of Roundup in order to prove that Roundup was safe. Monsanto also allegedly engaged in a campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies and the general population that Roundup was safe.
Roundup lawsuits allege multiple studies on Roundup and glyphosate have been ghostwritten in part and/or published by Monsanto, which minimize any safety concerns about the use of glyphosate. These ghostwritten studies were used to convince regulators to allow the sale of Roundup as well as to convince the public that Roundup was safe.
These studies were allegedly submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and were relied upon in assessing the safety of glyphosate. Through these means, the lawsuit accuses Monsanto of fraudulently representing that independent scientists concluded glyphosate to be safe. In fact, the lawsuits allege these independent experts were paid by Monsanto and failed to disclose the significant role Monsanto had in creating the manuscripts.
Monsanto is also accused of ghostwriting editorials for scientists to advocate for the safety of glyphosate in newspapers and magazines, and ghostwriting letters by supposed independent scientists that were submitted to regulatory agencies charged with reviewing the safety of glyphosate.
Monsanto is also accused in the Roundup lawsuits of violating federal regulations by holding secret private meetings with EPA employees in an attempt to suppress any investigations into the toxicity or carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
It is alleged that Roundup can cause cancer in individuals exposed to long-term use of Roundup. Specifically, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Those most at risk are farm workers and other individuals with high workplace exposure such as employees in nurseries or landscapers. Exposure to the glyphosate can be either direct (breathing it in while spraying) or indirect (drinking water or eating food contaminated with glyphosate).
More than 70,000 people annually in the United States are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the B-cell lymphoma which comprises about 90% of all cases. The T-cell version makes up about 10%. The most common treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and radiation.
If you or a family member developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, B-cell lymphoma or multiple myeloma after prolonged exposure to Roundup or any other glyphosate containing pesticide you can contact us for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.
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