Monsanto Co. is the target of lawsuits from people across the country who are alleging that the company’s RoundUp weed killer has caused cancer in many farm workers and others who live near farms where the product is used. If you or a loved one has fallen ill due to RoundUp exposure, the law firm of Baron & Budd may be able to help you take legal action. Call 866-223-3424 or complete our contact form to learn more.
Some plaintiffs in the lawsuits are saying that if they had known about the potential health hazards of RoundUp, they may have been able to take measures to reduce their exposure. They claim that Monsanto has long been well aware that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide, is a danger to human health. Plaintiffs are saying that Monsanto has led a prolonged campaign of misinformation in order to mislead governmental agencies as well as the general population that RoundUp is a safe product.
How RoundUp Works
RoundUp has been an extremely popular weed killer since it was introduced in the 1970s. According to company financial reports, it accounted for nearly $5 billion in revenue during Monsanto’s 2015 fiscal year alone.
The herbicide is used to kill a wide range of invasive plants, chiefly through glyphosate. This chemical inhibits the presence of EPSP synthase, an enzyme that most plants need in order to be able to grow. Without the enzyme, the targeted plants cannot produce other proteins they need in order to live. As a result, they die within a few days or weeks. Nearly all plants need EPSP synthase to survive and will die without it.
The World Health Organization Report
Glyphosate has been under attack for years by scientists who claim it is a health hazard, but momentum against the chemical surged after a March 2015 report by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research arm of the WHO, glyphosate is likely a carcinogen. People exposed to the chemical are at a higher risk of developing several cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B-cell and follicular lymphoma, and more.
The WHO announced in March 2015 that it had added glyphosate to “Group 2A,” meaning it was added to a list of chemicals classified as “probable carcinogens.” The organization recommended the listing after reviews of 15 years worth of research studies showed that glyphosate caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans.
The WHO also found that glyphosate could also cause cancer in animals, pointing to a study involving the carcinogenic effects of the chemical on lab mice. While only three out of 50 mice in the study developed kidney cancer after glyphosate exposure, the form of cancer is so rare that the organization became alarmed.
In addition, the organization found evidence of chromosomal and DNA damage occurring in the cells of people living near an area where large amounts of glyphosate were sprayed on a regular basis.
Over the last two decades, scientists have worked to establish a link between glyphosate and a host of illnesses. In 2005, for example, French researchers found that placental cells in humans are susceptible to even minimal exposure to the chemical, concluding that it could potentially cause reproduction problems. Other research indicates the glyphosate can lead to human and animal genetic damage, an increased risk of attention deficit disorder, and can also reduce the production of sex hormones.
Potential Restrictions on Glyphosate Use
Largely as a result of the WHO findings, regulators across the country are considering tighter restrictions on the use of glyphosate. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 1, 2015 that its new restrictions will likely be similar to those placed on another herbicide known as Enlist Duo, produced by Dow. In 2014, the EPA mandated that Enlist Duo use be limited to certain states, and required Dow to notify the EPA of any instances where weeds have become resistant to the product.
Also, California officials are considering whether glyphosate should be listed as a carcinogenic material, which would make it illegal to knowingly discharge the chemical into drinking water. In addition, any farmers or other businesses that use glyphosate would be required to provide the public with “clear and reasonable warnings.”
How Baron & Budd Can Help
Monsanto remains steadfast in its assertion that RoundUp is not a human carcinogen, but there is a growing amount of scientific evidence that suggests otherwise. If it is found that Monsanto knowingly withheld information regarding the health risks of glyphosate, the company could be forced to pay many millions of dollars in damages.
You may want to consider potential legal recourse if you or someone close to you either worked on a farm or lived near a farm where RoundUp was used and developed a serious illness. Baron & Budd has a long history of pursuing legal action on behalf of people who have been harmed by a wide variety products, and may be able to put its substantial amount of experience to work for you.
Please contact Baron & Budd to learn about your possible legal options. We will listen to the details of your case and then let you know whether you qualify to take action. Call 866-223-3424 or complete our contact form.