New Research Shows that Roundup Herbicide Causes Liver Disease in Rats

Dr. Michael Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, led the ground-breaking research.
Dr. Michael Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London.

New research published at Nature.com shows that an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats.

“For the very first time we have established a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of daily ingestion of Roundup and a serious disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Dr. Michael Antoniou, Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, led the ground-breaking research, told The Organic & Non-GMO Report.

“Overall, metabolome and proteome disturbances showed a substantial overlap with biomarkers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its progression to steatohepatosis and thus confirm liver functional dysfunction resulting from chronic ultra-low dose GBH (glyphosate-based herbicides) exposure,” states the research Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide published by Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 39328 (2017).

Plaintiffs allege that Roundup causes non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) in multidistrict litigation before US District Judge Vince Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Herbicide detected in food and water

“Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH), such as Roundup, are the major pesticides used worldwide. Residues of GBH are routinely detected in foodstuffs and drinking water. Epidemiological data on the human body burden of GBH residues is very limited but evidence suggests that glyphosate and its metabolites are widespread,” the research states.

“A number of toxicity studies have shown that glyphosate and its commercial formulations have non-target effects on mammalian metabolism and provoke toxic effects, especially with respect to liver and kidney structure and function,” it states.

Antoniou said that the rats consumed a glyphosate-equivalent level of Roundup that is 75,000 times lower than what is permitted in Europe and 437,500 times lower than that allowed in the U.S.

“We used cutting-edge compositional analytical methods to determine the health status of rats’ livers. Protein and metabolite profiles are a direct measure of the composition of organs and give a direct readout of the health or disease status of organs. We found that these organs weren’t healthy. There were clear hallmarks of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which correlated with previous observations of an increased incidence of tissue necrosis or liver tissue replaced with scars.

Roundup causes disease

“We were able to make a direct statement that Roundup caused disease,” he told The Organic & Non-GMO Report.

  • Roundup is a previously unknown and unsuspected potential risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that calls for further investigation.
  • Twenty-five percent of the U.S. population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Risk factors include obesity, diabetes, and high blood fat levels.
  • But there are risk factors for the disease that have not yet been identified, and it’s possible that exposure to Roundup could be one such missing risk factor.

“Our study results suggest that the permitted safety intake level of glyphosate-based herbicides needs to be revisited as they may have been set way too high,” he said. “The second point that this is a new risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and needs to be taken into account by the medical establishment.”

In March 2015, leading cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” IARC reached its decision based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides. The IARC review of glyphosate has led to the European Parliament calling for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and serious restrictions on agricultural use.

In contrast, on Sept. 12, 2016, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (“OPP”) issued a 227-page evaluation of glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, concluding that “[t]he strongest support is for [the description] ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans’ at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.” See Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its herbicide Roundup as a possible cancer threat.

California would be the first state to order such labeling for the weed-killer, which is used by farmers and home gardeners worldwide.

For further reading:

Corrupt EPA Official Bragged About Killing Study into Roundup Causing Cancer

Monsanto Colluded To “Ghost-Write” Studies on the Pesticide Roundup

Monsanto’s Deadly Harvest

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Corrupt EPA Official Bragged About Killing Study into Roundup Causing Cancer

"If I can kill this I should get a medal," said Jess Rowland, former EPA Deputy Division Director
“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” said Jess Rowland, former EPA Deputy Division Director told Monsanto.

The federal judge overseeing the MDL for Roundup litigation released records exposing how a corrupt Environmental Protection Agency official bragged to Monsanto that he deserved a medal if he could kill an investigation of whether the company’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer.

The shocking boast was released by US District Judge Vince Chhabria in In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Monsanto was seeking Rowland’s help in stopping an investigation of glyphosate, the poison in Roundup, by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager, who recounted the boast in an email to his colleagues.

Click here to see the actual unsealed documents with Rowland’s shocking boast.

 

Rowland’s bragging shows the regulator who was supposed to be policing the company was corruptly working on its behalf. He apparently succeeded. The ATSDR announced in the Federal Register in February 2015 that it would publish a toxicological profile of glyphosate by October, but it never did.

Deposing Rowland

Now retired, Rowland was the Deputy Division Director in the EPA’s Health Effects Division of the Office of Pesticide Programs. He joined the EPA in 1990 and as the Senior Science advisor, he could have a sweeping impact by providing expert advice on complex or novel scientific or policy issues. His branch was responsible for assessing the human health effects from pesticide exposure on food, water, working conditions and home life.

Judge Chhabria stated in Pretrial Order No. 15 that he tentatively would allow plaintiffs to take Rowland’s deposition and to compel production of documents about his work. He said he would consider further arguments before making a final decision.

The court denied Monsanto’s motion to seal documents concerning Rowland’s depositions. “Potential embarrassment to Monsanto (or to Jess Rowland) is not enough” to seal the information, according to the judge.

“Although the documents contain communications about Monsanto’s efforts to influence agencies, there is no credible argument that they reveal some sort of ‘trade secret’ about how to do so,” the judge wrote sarcastically.

Also read: Monsanto Colluded To “Ghost-Write” Studies on the Pesticide Roundup

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Court: California Can Label Roundup as Cancer Threat

WHO-says-Roundup-probably-causes-cancerFresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its herbicide Roundup as a possible cancer threat.

California would be the first state to order such labeling for the weed-killer, which is used by farmers and home gardeners worldwide.

Separately, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is supervising Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741 in San Francisco. Since the MDL was created in October, it has attracted 46 lawsuits, Case No. Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.

Herbicide found in popular foods

Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, has no color or smell. Recently, the independent food safety testing done by Food Democracy found extremely high levels of the herbicide glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — in America’s most popular food products.

Monsanto introduced the chemical in 1974 as an effective way of killing weeds while leaving crops and plants intact. It’s sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 types of crops.

  • The chemical is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says it has ‘low toxicity’ and recommends people avoid entering a field for 12 hours after it has been applied.
  • But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified the chemical as a ‘probable human carcinogen.’

Shortly afterward, California took its first step in 2015 to require the warning labels.

Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer the ‘gold standard’ for identifying carcinogens, and they rely on its findings along with several states, the federal government and other countries, court papers say.

 

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Court in Roundup MDL Orders Briefs on Cancer Studies

roundup-cancerU.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ordered the parties in Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741 to submit briefs on alleged flaws and biases in federal and United Nations research linking the herbicide to cancer.

Since the MDL was created in October, it has attracted 46 lawsuits, Case No. Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.

In March 2015, leading cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” IARC reached its decision based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides. The IARC review of glyphosate has led to the European Parliament calling for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and serious restrictions on agricultural use.

In contrast, on Sept. 12, 2016, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (“OPP”) issued a 227-page evaluation of glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, concluding that “[t]he strongest support is for [the description] ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans’ at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.” See Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential.

EPA vs. IARC

In pretrial order No. 8, the judge wrote, “It appears the plaintiffs are preparing to argue that the EPA’s conclusions about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate are flawed and/or biased. It appears Monsanto is preparing to argue the same with respect to IARC. It’s not obvious how directly relevant these arguments are to the questions the Court must consider during the general-causation phase of this case.”

Briefs must be filed by February 8.

An Illinois plaintiff who contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) after using the herbicide Roundup, charges in a new lawsuit filed in federal court that Monsanto knew of the cancer risks since the 1980s, but covered it up.

John Cushman of Effingham County, IL, sprayed Roundup on a regular basis for decades. He filed suit in US District Count for the Southern District of Illinois, alleging that the maker, Monsanto Company of St. Louis, MO, pressured the EPA not to label the herbicide as carcinogenic, and aggressively marketed it as “safer than table salt.” Cushman v. Monsanto, Case No. 16 cv 1042.\

“Any firm would be wise to get younger lawyers involved because this will be a long, hard fight,” said John Ray, a mass tort expert speaking in a recent webinar. Click to see the Slides & Recording for NTL Webinar: Mass Torts Update for Plaintiff Attorneys.

“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,” Ray 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.”

 

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Monsanto RoundUp Herbicide Found in Cheerios, Ritz Crackers and Doritos

roundup-cancerIndependent food safety testing done by Food Democracy found extremely high levels of the herbicide glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — in America’s most popular food products.

Roundup is the most heavily used chemical weedkiller in food and agricultural production in human history, as a result of the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops now grown on more than 175 million acres in the U.S. and more than 440 million acres around the globe.

Roundup is used on crops, lawns, home gardens, parks, roadsides and forests. So far 38 actions have been filed against Monsanto in Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years.

Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Also read Court Appoints Leadership In Roundup Cancer MDL.

Harm to human health

New scientific evidence shows that probable harm to human health could begin at ultra-low levels of glyphosate e.g. 0.1 parts per billions (ppb). Popular foods tested for glyphosate measured between 289.47 ppb and at levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb.

The testing and analysis were performed by Anresco Laboratories, San Francisco, an FDA-registered laboratory that has performed expert food safety testing since 1943. The laboratory found that well-known products tested for glyphosate, Original Cheerios, for example, measured levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb. Other high levels of glyphosate were found in familiar products such as Oreos, Doritos, and Ritz Crackers, among 29 foods tested.

Currently, U.S. regulators allow a very high level of daily glyphosate residue in America’s food. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit is set at 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day (written 1.75 mg/kg bw/day) in the U.S., versus a more cautious 0.3 mg/kg bw/day in the European Union. Tolerances have been set based on corporate-sponsored studies and industry influence on the regulatory process.

New research shows that Roundup causes liver and kidney damage in rats as reflected in changes in the functions of 4,000 genes at only 0.05 parts per billion (ppb) glyphosate equivalent indicating damage. Credible independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence now shows that the levels of harm to human health could begin at the ultra-low levels of 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate.

“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,” the report says.

Lobbying Backlash from Monsanto

In March 2015, leading cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” IARC reached its decision based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides. The IARC review of glyphosate has led to the European Parliament calling for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and serious restrictions on agricultural use.

Monsanto’s furious response includes:

  • Working with CropLife America to drive efforts to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • The EPA had planned to hold four days of public meetings – over industry objections– to examine scientific research on glyphosate. But the industry, which deemed the meetings “unnecessary” and “inappropriate,” successfully derailed those Oct. 18-21 public meetings by challenging certain scientists appointed by EPA to an advisory panel.

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Court Appoints Leadership In Roundup Cancer MDL

roundup-cancerUS District Judge Vince Chhabria appointed Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, PC, Michael Miller of The Miller Firm, LLC, and Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff, PC as Plaintiffs’ CoLead Counsel of Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.

Pretrial Order No. 2, issued Nov. 17, also named them as chairs of the Executive Committee to coordinate and oversee the activities of the MDL. The court further named Michael Baum, Baum Hedlund Aristei and Goldman, Hunter Lundy, Lundy Lundy Soileau & South, and Yvonne Flaherty, Lockridge Grindal Nauen as Executive Committee members.

The court appointed Lori Andrus, Andrus Anderson, LLP and Mark Burton, Audet and Partners as co-liaison counsel. The role of co-liaison counsel will include administrative matters, such as to liaise with Plaintiffs’ attorneys who file cases in this MDL and who are not appointed to leadership in the MDL.

Causes cancer

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL in the Northern District of California. There are 21 actions pending in 14 districts. Including the potential tag-along actions, there are now 37 actions pending in 21 districts. More than 10 different law firms represent plaintiffs in these actions, which were spread across the country.

The MDL Court noted that in the two actions previously pending in the Northern District of California, it had granted Monsanto’s request to bifurcate the proceedings. “However, because not all parties to the MDL have had an opportunity to be heard on this issue, the Court will consider additional arguments regarding bifurcation at the case management conference,” the judge wrote.

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.

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Judge Seeks Lead Counsel in Roundup Products Liability Litigation

roundup-cancerUS District Judge Vince Chhabria requested attorneys who wish to be lead counsel in In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC, to submit applications by October 20, when the first pretrial conference will be held in San Francisco.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created the new MDL in the Northern District of California. There are currently 21 actions pending in 14 districts. Including the potential tag-along actions, there are now 37 actions pending in 21 districts. More than 10 different law firms represent plaintiffs in these actions, which were spread across the country.

In the Oct. 6 order, Judge Chhabria stated that the parties will discuss:

  • The appointment of liaison and lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
  • The possibility of bifurcating proceedings to address general causation before any plaintiff-specific questions.
  • The schedule for discovery.
  • The merits of appointing an independent expert at the parties’ shared expense.

Causes cancer

The MDL Court noted that in the two actions previously pending in the Northern District of California, it had granted Monsanto’s request to bifurcate the proceedings. “However, because not all parties to the MDL have had an opportunity to be heard on this issue, the Court will consider additional arguments regarding bifurcation at the case management conference,” the judge wrote.

Three attorneys have submitted applications to be lead counsel including Robin Greenwald of Weitz & Luxenberg, Hunter Lundy of Lundy, Lundy, Soileau & South LLP, and Aimee H. Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff.

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.

For more information read New Illinois Lawsuit Charges Monsanto’s Roundup Causes Cancer

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New MDLs Consolidate Cases for Abilify, Roundup, Talc and Taxotere

Consolidating thousands of lawsuits involving Abilify schizophrenia drug, Roundup herbicide, Talc powder and Taxotere cancer drug, US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in Washington, DC, created new multidistrict litigation (MDL) dockets for the mass tort cases.

This is good news for plaintiffs. In due course the assigned courts will create short-form complaints and plaintiff fact sheets, facilitating the filing of new actions. Each litigation will be led by a plaintiff’s steering committee appointed by the judge, who will set a discovery schedule and select representative cases for bellwether trials.

abilifyAbilify (Aripiprazole)

Responding to a motion from all the parties, the JPML created new MDL 2734, In re: Abilify Products Liability Litigation, supervised by US District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida. The ruling consolidates 22 actions filed in 12 district courts against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Plaintiffs allege that Abilify, an atypical anti-psychotic medication commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome, can cause compulsive gambling behaviors. All the actions involve factual questions relating to whether Abilify was defectively designed or manufactured, whether defendants knew or should have known of the alleged propensity of Abilify to cause compulsive gambling behaviors in users, and whether defendants provided adequate instructions and warnings with this product.

For more information read FDA Links Abilify to Compulsive Gambling, Eating, Shopping and Sex

WHO-says-Roundup-probably-causes-cancerRoundup (Glyphosate)

Granting the plaintiffs’ motion, the JPML created the new MDL No. 2741, In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, supervised by Judge US District Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California. Monsanto opposed consolidation. There are 21 actions pending in 14 districts. Including the potential tag-along actions, there are now 37 actions pending in twenty-one districts. More than ten different law firms represent plaintiffs in these actions, which are spread across the country.

These actions share common factual questions arising out of allegations that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.

For more information read New Illinois Lawsuit Charges Monsanto’s Roundup Causes Cancer

talc johnson & johnsonTalcum Powder

The JPML created the new MDL 2738, In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, supervised by US District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey. There are 10 actions in 8 districts.

The plaintiffs allege that they or their decedents developed ovarian or uterine cancer following perineal application of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products (namely, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder). Two of the actions are consumer class actions brought on behalf of putative classes of women who allege that defendants deceptively marketed the talcum powder products for feminine hygienic use without disclosing talc’s carcinogenic properties. All the actions involve factual questions relating to the risk of cancer posed by talc and talc-based body powders, whether the defendants knew or should have known of this alleged risk, and whether defendants provided adequate instructions and warnings with respect to the products.

For more information read Behind the $55 Million Talc Verdict: J&J Knew About Cancer Risks Since the 1970s

taxotere hair lossTaxotere (Docetaxel)

The JPML created new MDL No. 2740, In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, supervised by Chief US District Judge Chief Judge Kurt Engelhardt in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The litigation consists of 33 actions pending in 16 districts. The panel also has been notified of 56 related actions pending in 25 districts.

Plaintiffs in these actions each allege that they experienced permanent hair loss as a result of using Taxotere. All actions will require discovery regarding the design, testing, manufacturing, marketing, and labeling of Taxotere. The defendant is Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC.

All the actions share common factual questions arising out of allegations that Taxotere (docetaxel), a chemotherapy drug, causes permanent hair loss, that defendants were aware of this possible side effect and failed to warn patients, and that defendants marketed Taxotere as more effective than other chemotherapy drugs when other drugs were equally effective without the associated permanent hair loss.

For further information read FDA Releases New Patient Info for Taxotere (Docetaxel) Cancer Drug

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Plaintiffs Seek to Consolidate Lawsuits Charging that Roundup Causes Cancer

WHO-says-Roundup-probably-causes-cancerPlaintiffs in 14 different federal courts are seeking to create the new MDL No. 2741 in southern Illinois to hear their lawsuits that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — cancer of the lymph nodes.

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.”

“Any firm would be wise to get younger lawyers involved because this will be a long, hard fight,” said John Ray, a mass tort expert speaking in a recent webinar. Click to see the Slides & Recording for NTL Webinar: Mass Torts Update for Plaintiff Attorneys.

Learn more about the Roundup litigation at the Sept. 23-26 Mass Tort Nexus Course.

Timothy Litzenburg of the Miller Law Firm, which is involved with the motion to consolidate, will speak about the litigation.

To attend, contact Barbara Capasso at barbara@masstortnexus.com or call (954) 383-3932.

“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,” Ray 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.”

The 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. The first action was filed on October 9, 2015.

Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto of St. Louis, has been on the market for 40 years.

  • It is the most widely-used agriculture chemical in history.
  • Each year, approximately 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops, commercial nurseries, suburban lawns, parks, and golf courses.
  • In 2010, an estimated 70% of corn and cotton and 90% of soybean fields in the United States contained Roundup Ready seeds. The company accounts for 27% of the world seed market.

Roundup is used in 130 countries and is found in rivers and groundwater, according to numerous 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.

Campaign of misinformation

“Monsanto has championed falsified data and has attacked legitimate studies that revealed Roundup®’s dangers. Monsanto has led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup® is safe,” states the complaint in John D. Sanders and Frank Tanner v. Monsanto Company, Case No. 5:16-cv-00726-pa-kk.

Monsanto was aware of glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties as early as the 1980s. The US EPA classified glyphosate as “possibly carcinogenic” in 1985. But after pressure from Monsanto, the EPA changed its classification to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. However, the EPA made clear that the designation did not mean the chemical does not cause cancer.

On two occasions, the EPA found that the laboratories hired by Monsanto to test the toxicity of its Roundup® products for registration purposes committed fraud:

  • Monsanto, in seeking initial registration of Roundup by the EPA, hired Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories. In 1976 the EPA found “routine falsification of data” at the company.  Three top executives of IBT were convicted of fraud in 1983.
  • Monsanto hired Craven Laboratories in 1991 to perform studies about Roundup. In that same year, the owner of Craven Laboratories and three of its employees were convicted of fraudulent laboratory practices in the testing of pesticides and herbicides.

rats with tumors

Professor Giles-Eric Seralini and his research team at the University of Caan in France provided pictures of rats fed Monsanto GMO corn saturated with Roundup weed killer. Their study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) discovered that rats fed GMOs developed tumors and died prematurely.

This began a highly-organzied media attack against Seralini by pro-GMO scientists and journalists. When former Monsanto scientist Richard E. Goodman was installed in a newly-created editorial position at FCT, Seralini’s paper was removed from the journal in 2013, a full year after it was initially peer reviewed and published.

Seralini’s study was re-published in 2014 by Environmental Sciences Europe. He also won a libel suit in France against the  former chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, who accused Seralini of “scientific fraud.”

Government crackdowns

Many government agencies have cracked down on Monsanto regarding Roundup.

In 1996 the New York Attorney General sued Monsanto for false advertising over claims that is was “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic.” That year Monsanto agreed to cease advertising that Roundup was safe, biodegradable, “good” for the environment, safer that common consumer products or “practically non-toxic.”

In 2009, France’s highest court ruled that Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of Roundup. The French court affirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide Roundup as “biodegradable” and that it “left the soil clean.”

Roundup has been banned for sale in the Netherlands, France, Bermuda and Sri Lanka.

 

 

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