One of Monsanto’s key products, Roundup, has been helping farmers and lawn enthusiasts kill weeds for decades. But as evidence mounts that the herbicide has been linked to cancer, should people be concerned about exposure to this probable human carcinogen?
Roundup’s controversial ingredient: What is it and is glyphosate safe for humans?
The key ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer is glyphosate, a synthetic compound that can be applied to the leaves of plants to selectively kill certain plants while allowing the desired ones to grow. It was patented by Monsanto in the United States in 1974 and Roundup was released to the public the same year. Two years later farmers, gardeners, and home owners in Canada also began to use Roundup. While some people claim that Roundup was one of the most game-changing products in the field of agriculture, many others wondered if exposing themselves and their food to this synthetic chemical was a safe as it was marketed to be.
After significant scientific research, in 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen, finding a link between exposure to the chemical and cancer and adding it to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Despite this research, the label for Roundup still does not include a warning that repeated exposure can have harmful side effects. Although some countries and states have attempted to require these warnings, these efforts have been stalled by Monsanto in court proceedings. Evidence indicates that not only can glyphosate enter a person’s system by using the Roundup spray, but when it is applied to plants that are later consumed it can also become part of the food we eat.
Recent Verdict Suggests that Courts Agree that Roundup Weed Killer Can Be Carcinogenic
Despite Monsanto’s efforts to silence the research that suggests its product has been linked to cancer, the company recently took a huge blow when a California jury ruled in favor of a plaintiff who was dying of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after his job as a groundskeeper exposed him to Roundup for decades. During the trial Monsanto fought to keep the plaintiff’s experts from testifying, arguing that their science was unreliable, however the judge did not agree and eventually the jury awarded the plaintiff $289 million.
Since then, two California cities have already vowed to stop using Roundup for their cities’ landscaping and more are considering similar action. The verdict in California has also opened the door for more lawsuits filed by people who were exposed to glyphosate. In Florida, a class action has already been filed against General Mills, whose foods are made with plants that were treated with Roundup, arguing that the company had a duty to warn consumers that food could contain glyphosate. In 2018, Bayer purchased Monsanto for $66 billion after two years of negotiation. While this move may mean that Roundup will be rebranded in the coming months, Monsanto will not be able to escape the litigation resulting from this landmark case.
Monsanto Cancer Victim Wins $2 Billion Punitive Damage Award in California Jury Trial
In the third and largest verdict against Bayer, which purchased Monsanto in 2018, a California jury has awarded a husband and wife $1 billion in punitive damages each after both the husband and wife were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Although the punitive award will likely be reduced on appeal, the couple also received $55 million in compensatory damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Like the other two successful jury verdicts against Monsanto, the couple filed suit alleging that Roundup weed killer was defectively designed and Monsanto failed to include an adequate warning label. In a statement after the trial, the plaintiff Mrs. Pilliod said that they would not have used Roundup if they had been warned it may cause cancer, but “from their ads, we felt that Roundup was incredibly safe to use.”
The Pilliods used Roundup to kill weeds on their three properties approximately once a week, nine months out of the year. Their lawyer estimated that over three decades the couple had sprayed about 1,500 gallons of Roundup. Both Mr. and Mrs. Pilliod are currently in remission, but their trial had to be expedited due to the possibility of a recurrence and their shortened life expectancy.
Monsanto continues to deny that its product can be linked to cancer or that it covered up research showing Roundup is carcinogenic. Although the company vowed to appeal, Monsanto is still facing another 13,400 lawsuits across the country. While the appeals of the first two California cases are ongoing, if the verdicts are mostly upheld Monsanto may begin to settle these cases rather than continue to take them to trial. The company’s shares have continued to decline since the first staggering verdict in a Roundup cancer case.
Have you or someone you love developed cancer after exposure to Roundup or eating foods that contain glyphosate?
Those who may be eligible for a lawsuit against Monsanto should contact us for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency-fee basis.
If you or a loved one has developed cancer that may be related to the use of Roundup, you may be eligible to file a claim for medical costs, emotional distress and further damages. Fill out our free case evaluation form to see if you are eligible for a potential glyphosate lawsuit. An experienced attorney at Morris Bart will assist you in the evaluation process. Initial consultations are FREE. Click here to see more about our office locations throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Call us at 1-800-537-8185 today.