The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Roundup weed killer a “probable human carcinogen,” and research has shown that individuals exposed to Roundup sprayed on farms, fields and even in home gardens may be at risk for a deadly cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Numerous studies published in recent years have reported a possible link between Roundup exposure and cancer, and thousands of lawsuits have been brought against Monsanto by farmworkers, farmers, landscapers and even backyard gardeners, who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other types of cancer after being exposed to Roundup. In the first Roundup verdict, delivered in August 2018, a California jury awarded the terminally ill, 46-year-old plaintiff $289 million in damages for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was diagnosed after the former groundskeeper used Roundup products for years. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Roundup exposure, contact a knowledgeable Roundup cancer lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
Roundup is a popular weed killer that has been sprayed on nearly every acre of corn, cotton and soybeans crops grown in the United States, in addition to being sprayed in backyards, orchards, parks and on home gardens. Its active ingredient, glyphosate, was commercialized by Monsanto in 1974, and it works by inhibiting an enzyme that is essential to plant growth and life. In the 1990s, Monsanto began selling genetically-modified (GMO) corn, cotton and soy seeds that were designed to resist glyphosate, which meant Roundup could be sprayed liberally on fields and farms across the United States, killing the weeds without damaging the crops. According to a Consumer Reports article published in 2015, “Glyphosate use has increased tenfold in the past 20 years thanks to the rise in genetically modified corn and soy.”
Recent research has found that Roundup weed killer may pose a serious risk for people who come in direct contact with the herbicide, namely people who spray Roundup, people who work near farms and fields where the weed killer is sprayed, and people who handle soil contaminated with Roundup. Unfortunately, studies have shown that when Roundup is sprayed on fields, farms and backyards, the herbicide can also end up in our food and drinking water. The most common side effect found in individuals exposed to Roundup weed killer is non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a deadly type of cancer that affects lymphocytes (white blood cells), which are an important part of the immune system. The disease occurs when the body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes, which crowd into the lymph nodes, causing them to swell. Other types of cancer possibly linked to Roundup exposure include:
Amid growing concerns about the potential for Roundup weed killer to cause cancer, researchers have examined the safety of the popular herbicide, and since 2001, several large studies have found a link between Roundup exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including research published back in September 2003, which found a 60% increased risk of the deadly cancer among farmworkers in the Midwestern United States. The alleged connection between Roundup and cancer has been linked to the weed killer’s active ingredient, glyphosate, which was categorized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. As more and more people come forward with stories about how they were diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup, Monsanto continues to advertise the safety of its top weed killer, and global sales of Roundup were about $7.8 billion in 2014, making up 30% of the herbicide market.
In March 2018, proceedings began in the Roundup multidistrict litigation presided over by U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria in San Francisco, California. Judge Chhabria heard live testimony from expert witnesses for both sides between March 5 and March 9, as part of a Daubert hearing for the case, and on March 19, ordered an additional hearing for two expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. If the expert witnesses are not excluded from testifying at trial, or if a Roundup settlement agreement isn’t reached to resolve the litigation, Judge Chhabria is expected to choose a small group of representative cases for early “bellwether” trials. In the meantime, a growing body of evidence suggests that Monsanto may have been involved in a systematic cover-up of Roundup’s health risks, and internal documents dubbed the “Monsanto Papers” suggest that Monsanto knew for more than a decade about the potential health risks of Roundup exposure, yet failed to adequately warn the public about these risks. In a company email sent in November 2003, Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer warned, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen. We have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.” Still, Monsanto claims that Roundup is safe and continues to market it as the top herbicide in the world.
April 2015 – A Roundup class action lawsuit is filed in California, accusing Monsanto of false advertising, for claiming that Roundup is safe for human use because “glyphosate targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.”
September 2015 – A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York alleges that a woman’s exposure to Roundup sprayed on plants and vegetables in fields and greenhouses from 1994 to 1998, when she worked for a horticultural company, caused her to develop leukemia.
September 2015 – Monsanto faces a lawsuit filed in California Central District Court by Enrique Rubio, who alleges that exposure to Roundup weed killer caused him to develop bone cancer.
October 2015 – Three lawsuits are filed against Monsanto in Delaware Superior Court, on behalf of three separate individuals from Texas and New York who were diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup.
November 2015 – Monsanto files a motion to dismiss several lawsuits filed on behalf of people diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup.
February 2016 – A Roundup lawsuit is filed in Hawaii, on behalf of a man who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup on a macadamia farm since 1997. The plaintiff also reported that he used Roundup to clear land in Hawaii and around his home.
February 2016 – A California man files a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto after being diagnosed with NHL, accusing the company of failing to warn that glyphosate is a known human carcinogen.
March 2016 – A landmark wrongful death case is brought against Monsanto, by the family of a California farmer who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma allegedly caused by Roundup exposure, despite never using any pesticides or herbicides on his own farm.
April 2016 – A federal judge in California refuses to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges that decades of exposure to Roundup, which he used to kill weeds and poison oak on his property, caused him to develop NHL.
June 2016 – A Roundup lawsuit is brought by a woman who used a backpack to spray the weed killer on her one-acre property every week, and was subsequently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
September 2016 – A backyard gardener alleges that his “extensive” use of Roundup weed killer on his property in San Diego, California, between 2008 and 2010, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
October 2016 – Hundreds of Roundup lawsuits are centralized in the Northern District of California, as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
December 2017 – A Roundup lawsuit is filed against Monsanto by Teri McCall, the widow of an avocado farmer in California, Jack McCall, who died in 2015 after being exposed to the herbicide for decades on his farm.
December 2017 – Monsanto internal emails, reports and memos unsealed in federal court indicate that the company may have known about Roundup’s potential to cause cancer.
March 2018 – The U.S. District Judge presiding over the Roundup MDL hears testimony from expert witnesses for the plaintiffs and defense in a Daubert hearing. Internal documents dubbed the “Monsanto Papers” suggest that the company knew for years about the potential carcinogenic effects of Roundup, yet withheld this information from the public.
August 2018 – A California jury delivers a landmark $289 million verdict in a lawsuit filed by a terminally ill, 46-year-old former groundskeeper for a school district outside San Francisco, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides for years.
1985 – Based on animal studies, the EPA classifies glyphosate (Roundup) as “possibly carcinogenic.”
1991 – The EPA reverses its glyphosate decision, indicating a lack of “convincing carcinogenicity evidence.”
2002 – In their own animal experiments, Monsanto finds that “between 5 and 10 percent” of the substance penetrated the skin of rats.
September 2003 – Denmark becomes one of the first countries to ban the spraying of Roundup, after traces of glyphosate are found in the groundwater, where most of the country’s drinking water comes from.
2011 – The USDA tests samples of food for glyphosate, and, out of 300 soybean samples, 271 contain glyphosate residues.
September 2012 – French toxicologist Gilles-Eric Seralini conducts a study in which he drips Roundup into the drinking water of rats for two years and feeds them glyphosate-containing genetically-modified corn. Some of the rats developed kidney damage while the female rats developed breast cancer at alarming rates. The study was retracted in 2013, just months after the publishing journal appointed a former Monsanto employee to its advisory board.
May 2013 – The EPA raises the allowable limits of glyphosate in food and feed crops, despite growing concerns about the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other types of cancer.
March 2015 – A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – a division of the World Health Organization – finds glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic” to humans, based on observational studies in the U.S., Canada and Sweden linking Roundup exposure to high rates of NHL among farmworkers.
June 2015 – Roundup is banned from home-gardening shops in France, after the UN declares glyphosate a “probable” human carcinogen.
June 2015 –Denmark’s Working Environmental Authority declares Roundup a carcinogen.
August 2015 – A bill is introduced in Hawaii that would ban spraying Roundup and other herbicides on public roads, waterways, sidewalks, and other public places.
September 2015 – The California Environmental Protection Agency lists glyphosate (Roundup) as “known to the state to cause cancer.”
November 2015 – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) disputes the link between Roundup and cancer, reporting that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”
January 2016 – Researchers with the FDA test roughly 10 samples of American honey, all of which test positive for glyphosate. According to the researchers, some honeys had twice the legal limit of glyphosate, likely due to the fact that bees are visiting fields sprayed with Roundup and carrying it back to their hives.
February 2016 – Testing finds traces of glyphosate in German beer and organic panty liners sold in France. Other tests have found glyphosate residue in British bread, and in the urine of people across Europe.
February 2016 – The FDA announces that it will begin testing foods for glyphosate residue, after being criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
March 2016 – The European Union threatens to recall Roundup, after several countries refuse to approve new permits for glyphosate.
July 2017 – The State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment adds glyphosate to their list of cancer-causing chemicals.
July 2018 – From now on, all bottles of Roundup herbicide sold in California will be required to carry a warning that it “causes cancer in humans.”
November 2001 – Research published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers finds a dose-response relationship between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
September 2003 – A study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine finds a 60% increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among farmworkers in the Midwestern United States.
October 2008 – The International Journal of Cancer publishes research suggesting a two-times increased risk of NHL among men exposed to Roundup weed killer.
2009 – Research published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health finds that farm workers in four coffee-growing regions of Colombia showed “increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage” after glyphosate spraying, compared to non-exposed workers who grew organic coffee.
June 2015 – Danish experts warn that Roundup should not be used by gardeners to control weeds, because “when we see that other mammals get cancer from glyphosate, we must assume that people who are exposed to the substance can also develop cancer.”
January 2016 – Research from the University of La Plata in Argentina indicates that about 85% of cotton products, including gauze, baby wipes, cotton balls, and feminine products like sanitary pads and tampons, contain glyphosate.
April 2016 – A study conducted by the Alliance for Natural Health shows traces of glyphosate in popular breakfast foods, like cereal, eggs, bagels, oatmeal, bread and dairy creamer.
October 2017 – Scientists point to Roundup’s active ingredient as a possible cause of autism in children.
Every year, approximately 70,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and many of these illnesses are the apparent result of exposure to cancer-causing agents, like Roundup. Still, Monsanto continues to promote the safety of Roundup weed killer, a potentially harmful product it once famously advertised as safer than table salt. Lawsuits brought against Monsanto over Roundup exposure allege the following:
More and more people across the United States are becoming aware of the potential connection between Roundup, glyphosate and cancer, and, as of August 2018, there were more than 8,000 Roundup lawsuits pending against Monsanto, filed on behalf of individuals who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other serious injuries after being exposed to the weed killer. In additional to the federal MDL, plaintiffs from all over the country have filed claims in state courts alleging cancer and other injuries from Roundup exposure. If you or a loved one was exposed to Roundup weed killer, and you have since been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another type of cancer, contact an experienced Roundup cancer attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse. You may have grounds to file a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.