Plaintiffs in several states have recently filed lawsuits against Monsanto, a major producer of herbicides. The claims allege that Monsanto’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, which contains glyphosate, may cause serious illnesses such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other forms of cancer. The claims also allege that Monsanto was aware of the risks but kept the information from the public. Here, the product liability and litigation attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss the status of the case.
The Health Risks of Glyphosate
Glyphosate is a chemical compound used in herbicides to control the growth of undesirable vegetation. It is also the active ingredient in Roundup, a popular herbicide manufactured by Monsanto that has been used since the 1970s. After conducting a review of multiple studies on the effects of glyphosate on agricultural and forestry workers going back to 2001, researchers found that individuals who regularly used glyphosate-containing herbicides were at an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other forms of cancer. Further research has shown that herbicide formulations containing glyphosate, such as Roundup, are more hazardous to human health than exposure to glyphosate alone. Glyphosate was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Roundup Lawsuit Alleges Monsanto Knew the Health Risks of Glyphosate
More than 400 lawsuits are currently pending against Monsanto in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which allege the corporation knew the health risks associated with Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, but for decades purposely concealed these risks.
U.S. District Judge Curtis Karnow, the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation in California, ruled that select documents—which were obtained by plaintiffs through the discovery process—must be unsealed. Plaintiffs believe that these documents demonstrate Monsanto’s efforts to influence scientific research on glyphosate.
A parallel case filed in California state court in the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, is the first case set to go to trial. The trial is scheduled to begin on June 18, 2018. DeWayne Johnson, the Plaintiff, worked as a groundskeeper for Benicia unified school district for at least three years and applied regular treatments of Roundup to schoolgrounds during this time. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in August of 2014.
According to an article by The Guardian, Michael Miller, Johnson’s attorney, asserts that Monsanto, “championed falsified data and attacked legitimate studies,” that revealed the danger of Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products and led a, “prolonged campaign of misinformation,” in order to convince governmental agencies, farmers and consumers that their herbicides were safe. Miller commented further, “We look forward to exposing how Monsanto hid the risk of cancer and polluted the science. Monsanto does not want the truth about Roundup and cancer to become public.”
California is not the only state where claims have been filed: Multiple claims have also been filed in St. Louis, Missouri, where Monsanto’s headquarters are located. The first trial in Missouri will take place in October of this year. The claimants in Missouri also assert that Monsanto knew of the hazardous effects of Roundup and purposely kept the information from the public.
Victims of Roundup and Other Glyphosate-Containing Products are Urged to Contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
Approximately 1.4 billion pounds of Roundup are used every year in 160 countries, making it the most widely-used herbicide on the market. Scientific research conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now indicated that Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products are a probable human carcinogen and may cause users to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other serious health concerns after prolonged exposure. If you or a loved one is or has been employed in an industry where herbicides are widely used and has developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other serious health concerns, contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos today for a no-charge consultation.