Legal action is underway against Monsanto after its Roundup products were linked to serious health complications including cancer. Monsanto manufactures the world’s most popular weed killer, but despite claims that its product is safe, there is evidence that long-term exposure leads to problems.
According to research, exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup products, increases a person’s risk for developing cancer.
The most recent evidence, which was released within days of the kickoff of the first federal Roundup cancer lawsuit trial, indicates that the product may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 41 percent. This latest information comes from researchers at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Washington after evaluating the correlation between high exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This latest information provides significant support for thousands of plaintiffs diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following Roundup exposure.
How Did an Unsafe Product Get Approval for Sale?
Most people assume products that have been evaluated by government agencies and approved for sale are safe. Roundup was no exception.
The truth is, government officials are still reluctant to admit that glyphosate has been linked to cancer, despite research showing otherwise. Only one organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has deemed glyphosate “probably carcinogenic.”
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the general public’s exposure to glyphosate still falls within limits deemed safe. However, it should be noted, in 2013 the agency doubled its maximum safe levels, making it possible for Monsanto to market its product as safe based on the updated standards.
Had the update not been made, current Monsanto products containing glyphosate could not be marketed as safe for sale to the public.
Monsanto Hid Risks Linked to Its Products
Lawsuits filed against Monsanto claim research was intentionally altered to make it possible to sell Monsanto and call it safe. In one instance, an EPA scientist accused another of “… playing games with science” when dealing with testing an approval of Monsanto products.
Claims in the lawsuits include:
- Glyphosate increases the risk of cancer
- Monsanto was aware of the risks associated with glyphosate, including the cancer risk, but failed to warn consumers
- Monsanto misrepresented the risks of Roundup to government agencies, farmers, and the public
Numerous lawsuits were filed against Monsanto following the IARC’s categorization of glyphosate as a likely carcinogen. Claims have been filed by business owners, farm workers, and survivors of those who lost their lives to glyphosate-linked cancer.
Plaintiffs come from different walks of life but are all dealing with a similar consequence due to their use of Roundup: they believed the product was safe but developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of using Monsanto’s weed killer.
Additionally, concerns about Roundup use extend beyond gardeners and farmers.
There is also a growing effort to address how the use of Roundup on crops affects the safety of the global food supply. Multiple groups have come forward to speak out against the use of the herbicide. France restricted sales of Roundup products to the public and The Netherlands outright banned its use.
Health Risks Associated with Glyphosate Extend Beyond Cancer
In addition to its link to cancer, there is now new evidence that exposure to Roundup could negatively affect gut health in people and animals.
A recent lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas City, Missouri, claims that glyphosate damages an enzyme found in the beneficial intestinal bacteria of people and pets. Two additional lawsuits based on similar arguments have been filed in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
Despite the increasing amount of evidence linking Roundup health risks, Monsanto continues to claim its product is safe. The company even took legal action against California when the state listed Roundup as a carcinogen under its Prop 65, a law that among other things requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
In addition to the lawsuits Monsanto faces, legal action is being taken against manufacturers of products that contain ingredients exposed to glyphosate. One such lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action was filed on behalf of consumers in New York and California against the owner of Quaker Oats after tests found traces of glyphosate in some oatmeal products.
The FDA began conducting tests for glyphosate residue in consumer food products in 2016 and discovered cereals, baby foods, honey, and wine all contained trace amounts of the chemical, despite many advertising their products as “organic,” “all natural,” and “safe.”