A Roundup on Monsanto’s Roundup
The bad news just keeps coming about Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. Day after day, researchers, municipalities, governments and more are releasing highly critical information about its cancer-causing properties. We are following it closely here at Joseph Joy and Associates and urge you to contact our lawyers if you or a loved one contracted cancer or got sick after repeated exposure to Roundup.
There is a huge body of evidence pointing to health implications for those who are regularly exposed to Monsanto weed killer Roundup, also known as glyphosate. A recent University of Washington (UW) study found that glyphosate, the chemical’s active ingredient, can increase one’s risk of cancer by a whopping 41-percent. The study claims more exposure to the chemical gives you a higher chance of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes that attacks the immune system. So far, thousands of consumers have sued Monsanto claiming that it made them sick.
Their findings were published in the online journal Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research.
“Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic,” said the study’s senior author Lianne Sheppard, a professor in the UW departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Biostatistics. “As a result of this research, I am even more convinced that it is.”
By examining epidemiologic studies published between 2001 and 2018, the UW team determined that exposure to glyphosate may increase the risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma by as much as 41 percent. The authors focused their review on epidemiological research in humans but also considered the evidence from laboratory animals.
“This research provides the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, incorporating a 2018 study of more than 54,000 people who work as licensed pesticide applicators,” said co-author Rachel Shaffer, a UW doctoral student in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.
“These findings are aligned with a prior assessment from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’ in 2015,” Shaffer said.
The study then goes on to note that Glyphosate was first introduced as an herbicide in 1974. “Usage in the agricultural industry has soared, particularly since the mid-2000s when the practice of “green burndown” was introduced, in which glyphosate-based herbicides are applied to crops shortly before harvest. As a consequence, crops now are likely to have higher residues of glyphosate,”
That sounds an alarm to us here at Joseph Joy and Associates and it should to you, too. The UW researchers say more studies are needed to account for the effects of increased exposures from green burndown, which may not be fully captured in the existing studies reviewed in their study.
All product users have a right to know what exactly it is they are using, especially if it puts them at risk of getting sick if proper precautions are not taken. California is the nation’s biggest agricultural state and just this year, a judge’s ruling cleared the way for requiring that Roundup post cancer-causing warnings on its packaging.
In addition to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancer, litigants in the U.S. and around the world are alleging numerous other medical conditions as a result of exposure to Roundup: Infertility, kidney disease, birth defects, severe gastrointestinal ailments, Parkinson’s Disease and central nervous system damage
The most recent high profile Roundup lawsuit is winding its way through the courts in California. Monsanto has appealed a jury’s recent multi-million dollar award to a man whose cancer was linked to glyphosate. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014. In August 2018, a judge ordered Monsanto to pay Johnson $289 million in damages, an award subsequently reduced to approximately $78 million after Monsanto appealed.
In the face of thousands of lawsuits, Monsanto denies there is any evidence that Roundup is carcinogenic. But the University of Washington study is not the only study to refute that. The evidence is far and wide and the lawsuits are based on many legal theories. Not only negligence, but also fraudulent advertising, product liability, failure to warn consumers of glyphosate’s cancer causing properties, and more.
Lawsuits filed against Monsanto are replete with examples of Monsanto’s failure to warn, fraudulent advertising and product defects. In 1996, the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) filed a lawsuit against Monsanto based on its false and misleading advertising of Roundup products. The lawsuit challenged Monsanto’s general representations that its spray-on glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, were “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish.
On November 19, 1996, Monsanto agreed “to cease and desist from publishing or broadcasting any advertising [in New York] that represent, directly or by implication” that its glyphosate containing pesticide products or any component thereof are safe, non-toxic, harmless or free from risk. DiVittorio v. Monsanto, EDLA, filed 08/14/17.
Louisiana has a rigorous product liability laws that impose a duty upon manufacturers to warn consumers of potential defects or dangers.*
*§2800.54. Manufacturer responsibility and burden of proof
- The manufacturer of a product shall be liable to a claimant for damage proximately caused by a characteristic of the product that renders the product unreasonably dangerous when such damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product by the claimant or another person or entity.
- A product is unreasonably dangerous if and only if:
(1) The product is unreasonably dangerous in construction or composition as provided in R.S. 9:2800.55;
(2) The product is unreasonably dangerous in design as provided in R.S. 9:2800.56;
(3) The product is unreasonably dangerous because an adequate warning about the product has not been provided as provided in R.S. 9:2800.57; or
(4) The product is unreasonably dangerous because it does not conform to an express warranty of the manufacturer about the product as provided in R.S. 9:2800.58.
- The characteristic of the product that renders it unreasonably dangerous under R.S. 9:2800.55 must exist at the time the product left the control of its manufacturer. The characteristic of the product that renders it unreasonably dangerous under R.S. 9:2800.56 or 9:2800.57 must exist at the time the product left the control of its manufacturer or result from a reasonably anticipated alteration or modification of the product.
- The claimant has the burden of proving the elements of Subsections A, B and C of this Section.
Acts 1988, No. 64, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1988.
Governments around the world are starting to take action, with the Dutch Parliament recently voting to ban all glyphosate-based herbicides including Roundup, from the end of 2015 and beyond. France is aiming for a ban by 2021, though farmers who rely on the pesticide are fighting back.
A local connection – most people in south Louisiana probably do not realize that Roundup is manufactured close to home. According to an article published by nola.com, “Monsanto, part of the German conglomerate Bayer, makes Roundup ingredients at its plant just outside Luling in St. Charles Parish.”
In addition to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancer, litigants around the world are alleging numerous other medical conditions as a result of exposure to Roundup: Infertility, kidney disease, birth defects, severe gastrointestinal ailments, Parkinson’s Disease and central nervous system damage
If you are a farmer, landscaper, gardener or find yourself coming in contact with Monsanto’s Roundup or glyphosate, by all means take proper precautions. Be careful with this potentially dangerous product. If you have become ill after repeated exposure to Roundup or glyphosate, call our legal team at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette. We can evaluate whether you have the basis for a lawsuit against Monsanto.