Scientist have recently established a potential link between the weedkiller Roundup and cancer.
Well, not exactly. The link is actually between cancer and Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate. While several groups of scientists, as well as the World Health Organization, have found links between glyphosate and cancer, the US Environmental Protection Agency continues to deny that glyphosate is dangerous.
The company that originally owned Roundup was Monsanto, which manufactured agricultural products. In 2018, Bayer purchased Monsanto, and with it, all Roundup’s legal repercussions.
In this post, class action lawsuit attorney Joseph Greenwald Jr. will compile some of the facts about the Roundup cancer lawsuits. We’ll talk a little about the science behind the dispute, as well as what that means for the Roundup cancer lawsuit plaintiffs.
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is an organophosphorus compound. It is the most common component in Roundup weedkiller, as well as other weedkillers.
Monsanto was the first company to sell a glyphosate product commercially. They began selling it as Roundup in 1974. Glyphosate kills weeds by blocking enzymes that regulate plant growth.
In the 90s, Monsanto even genetically engineered crops that would tolerate glyphosate.
These days, Roundup isn’t even the only weedkiller that uses glyphosate. In fact, there are more than 750 glyphosate-containing products in the US.
Its widespread use means that it is in our food, our water, and dust. Since there is no regular testing for glyphosate in our food and water, we aren’t even sure how extensive our exposure is.
Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?
Roundup’s troubles began in 2015. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer conducted a study and classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
Since then, scientists have performed hundreds of studies to either confirm or contradict these findings. In 2017, California added glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals. It was only the first of many. Today, more than two dozen countries have banned or restricted the use of glyphosate products. In 2019, Los Angeles County suspended the use of glyphosate on county property until there is more research on its health effects.
Also in 2019, five US scientists conducted an analysis of the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate. This analysis found that those with high exposure to glyphosate are 41% more likely to develop non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Let’s break this down into more specific numbers.
2 out of every 100 Americans develop NHL. For people with high exposure to glyphosate, the number jumps to 2.8 of every 100.
That doesn’t feel like a big jump, but when you take into account the population of the United States, it’s a pretty big jump.
The EPA and Glyphosate Cancer Connection
Alternatively, in 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency determined that glyphosate is not likely a human carcinogen.
In its report, the EPA specified that so long as users follow Roundup’s instructions, and wear gloves and masks, there are no health risks to using Roundup. Bayer continually cites this EPA study on its website, as well as an “extensive body of work” that agrees with the EPA’s assessment.
So, does glyphosate cause cancer?
Science does not often deal in absolutes, so there’s no way to say yes or no. But there is significant scientific evidence that suggests high exposure to Roundup increases your chances of getting cancer.
What About People Who Are Exposed To Small Amounts of Glyphosate in Weed Killer?
Frankly, there’s no science on this topic.
Most of the research points to high levels of glyphosate contributing to NHL. No one knows for sure what levels of glyphosate the average human experiences per day. This makes it difficult to determine the exact effects small amounts of glyphosate have on humans.
What science does know is that nearly every human being in the United States absorbs glyphosate throughout the day. We absorb glyphosate through our food, our water, and through breathing the air in our environment.
In 2017, a group of scientists researching the effects of herbicides on unborn children tested the urine of a small group of people in the US. They found traces of glyphosate in 93% of them.
Roundup Cancer: Legal Troubles
In March of 2019, a federal jury ordered Monsanto, and Bayer, to pay $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. This man used Roundup on his 56 acres in California for thirty years. This jury determined that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in this man’s illness.
Similarly, in 2018, a superior court jury in San Francisco ruled in favor of a groundskeeper with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Bayer has appealed both decisions. The company faces more than 9,000 similar lawsuits in the United States. Many of these trials will take place this year.
In its own defense, Bayer claims that the scientists who classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 did not conduct proper research. Though federal courts continue to rule in favor of plaintiffs, Bayer maintains on its website that Roundup is safe and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Roundup Cancer Class Action Lawsuit
Whether or not science deals in absolutes, the law does.
While there are conflicting scientific studies about the link between Roundup and cancer, the United States courts are not in conflict. They have continually ruled in favor of plaintiffs with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Courts in multiple jurisdictions have awarded monetary damages to plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits against Roundup, Monsanto, and Bayer.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
In a class-action lawsuit, any award the plaintiffs receive will be split among them.
Contact the Greenwald Law Firm
Joseph Greenwald Jr has been representing clients in Louisiana and Mississippi for nearly 20 years. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma after exposure to Roundup weedkiller, call the Greenwald Law Firm at 318.219.7867.
You can also leave us a message on our website to request a free consultation.