Roundup Causes Cancer, California Says

Spraying glyphosate on a stubble field | Photo: Chafer Machinery, some rights reserved
Spraying glyphosate on a field. Photo: Chafer Machinery

California is free to declare officially that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller causes cancer after a state court stopped a lawsuit by Monsanto.

There are 100 lawsuits in MDL 2741 supervised by US District Judge Vince Chhabria (Northern District of California), Roundup Products Liability Litigation.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced in 2015 that it would add glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

Monsanto sued in January 2016 to block the listing, claiming that the state acted unconstitutionally in listing glyphosate. The company also argued that the value of its Roundup trademark would be irreparably damaged that its First Amendment right to free speech was threatened if the state required warning labels on the company’s glyphosate products.

Glyphosate on carcinogen list

State Superior Court Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan ruled March 10 that California may add glyphosate to its carcinogen list.

Farm workers suffer significant health effects from glyphosate exposure, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).

Use of Roundup has skyrocketed in recent decades because of Roundup’s bogus reputation as “safer than table salt.” Also, Monsanto’s sells “Roundup-ready” crops such as soy, corn, alfalfa, and cotton. Farmers spray Roundup on crops, killing the weeds but leaving their crops unharmed.

As a result of the spread of glyphosate-resistant crops, use of the herbicide has increased more than tenfold since 1995.

America’s farming belt, where most of the food in the US is grown, is hit the hardest:

  • West: California, Washington, Montana, and Texas
  • Midwest: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota
  • Mississippi River: Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee
  • Atlantic seaboard: New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina

This article is a part of KCET and Link TV’s “Summer of the Environment.

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New Illinois Lawsuit Charges Monsanto’s Roundup Causes Cancer

WHO-says-Roundup-probably-causes-cancerAn Illinois man filed suit against Monsanto in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois alleging he developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from using the weed killer Roundup.

Roundup motion to consolidate (PDF) seeks to organize the litigation in the Southern District of Illinois before Judge Nancy Rosenstengel or David Herndon. A similar motion is pending to consolidate the cases in the US District Court of Hawaii.

Probable carcinogen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized intergovernmental cancer agency of the World Health Organization, declared in March 2015 that glyphosate, the chemical in Roundup, is a “probable carcinogen.”

Roundup is used in 130 countries and is found in rivers and groundwater, according to many studies. Plants absorb glyphosate and it cannot be removed by washing or peeling produce or by milling, baking or brewing grains. It has been found in food, in the urine of agricultural works and even in the urine of urban dwellers who are not in direct contact with glyphosate. Those most at risk are farm workers, landscapers and employees of garden centers and nurseries.

Charles Bridgeman filed a lawsuit July 18 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Monsanto Company alleging failure to use ordinary care in designing and manufacturing Roundup, failure to accompany their product with proper warnings and failure to conduct adequate testing and post-marketing surveillance to determine the safety of product. It is case number 3:16-cv-00812

According to the complaint, beginning in 1990, Bridgeman regularly used the defendants’ product, Roundup, to control weeds. The suit says in 2011 Bridgeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which he alleges is a direct result from his exposure to the herbicide.

The lawsuit states he suffered serious and dangerous side effects, as well as other severe and permanent injuries, physical pain and mental anguish, incurred medical expenses and diminished enjoyment of life.

He is represented by attorneys Edward A. Wallace and by Corey G. Lorenz of Wexler Wallace LLP in Chicago, and by Yvonne Flaherty of Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP in Minneapolis.


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