The "Roundup" on Roundup: What is it? Why is it Dangerous?
Known as a popular weed killer, Roundup was developed by Monsanto in the 1970s. Used by both farmers and homeowners in 150+ countries up until several years ago. When scientific study showed evidence that glyphosate–the main ingredient in Monsanto's flagship product–was directly linked to high instances of of cancer; non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma being the largest culprit, Monsanto was inundated with lawsuit after lawsuit. The current number sits somewhere near 400 as of July 2018. Attorneys have seen a rise in clients and families of loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer after years spent doing agricultural work.
In 1970, Monsanto (known for the widely disparaged term "GMO" or Genetically Modified Organism; often combatted with "No GMO" labels by food manufacturers) developed the herbicide known as glyphosate. This product was intended for farmers and gardeners alike to use to kill weeds and other bothersome grasses that damaged crops and plants. The product caught on in the farming community and by 2007, the product was the most used herbicide in agricultural world. Monsanto was further welcomed into the farming industry when they introduced genetically modified seeds. These seeds were intended to be resistant to herbicides. This meant that farmers could spray their crops without losing any due to the herbicide itself.
The future of farming
This new way of farming caught on and was quickly dubbed "Roundup Ready". According to consumersafety.org: "These Roundup Ready crops, including goods like corn, soybean and cotton, now account for over 270 million pounds of crops each year across millions of acres of farmland."
While farmers weren't expecting it, they were roped into a lifelong commitment to the Roundup line of products. Monsanto emphasized that farmers would have to continue using Roundup for the life of their crops, because any other pesticide would kill them. This was not only bad for the agricultural business, but time-consuming, leaving farmers no choice but to stick with Roundup and the Monsanto brand for life.
Farmers have been "Rounding Up" cancer diagnoses for years
Over the past decade, however, Roundup has been linked to nearly every subtype of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; a cancer of the lymphatic system. Glyphosate is said to be the caused of this soaring increase in cancer diagnoses among the farming community and those who used Roundup for an extended period of time when gardening at home. While studies conflict as to whether or not glyphosate actually causes cancer, take them with a grain of salt. Most of the studies that contradict the diagnoses were conducted by Defense Hired Doctors, a subject we've discussed at length here on the Blog.
For those unfamiliar with Defense Hired Doctors, here's a quick rundown (or "roundup") of what exactly these defense-hired medical professionals actually do.
In Defense Hired Doctors: What the Insurance Company Won’t Tell You, But Your Experienced Attorney Will we explained the position of the medical professional retained by the defendant:
"Often times, the defense will hire a physician to testify as to whether or not the plaintiff is actually injured and furthermore, this physician will usually find that the plaintiff is not injured at all! This doesn’t seem right, does it? That’s because the practice behind it isn’t an ethical one, nor is it “fair and impartial”, a legal term regularly used too loosely."
World Health Organization comes down on defense
A 2015 study of glyphosate conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (under the World Health Organization umbrella) delved into the actual safety hazards surrounding five pesticides (not all manufactured by Monsanto, to avoid any bias in the study). These tests were conducted specifically to determine if any of the studied pesticides could be linked to cancer. When the investigation was complete, glyphosate was officially labeled as "Group 2A"; this is known to the average person as "Probably Carcinogenic to Humans". While the use of the word "probably" is utilized, there is now a proven link between Roundup and cancer due to the Group 2A classification.
Scientists for the International Agency for Research on Cancer stuck to their guns on the evaluation and refused to back down, even when Monsanto's defense hired doctors spoke out against the study, claiming they were unable to find a link between the agricultural workers and their use of Roundup to their cancer diagnoses. This, however, is typical behavior for a defense hired medical professional. They're being paid a sum of money by Monsanto's insurance company to push the safety of the Roundup line of products.
EPA on the way
When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in–things got serious. Dating back to 1995, the Agency warned that glyphosate should've been labeled as what consumersafety.org refers to as a "probable human carcinogen". This distinction should've forced Monsanto's hand and the line of glyphosate-laden products should've come with a clear consumer warning label; much like cigarettes contain a plain-as-day Surgeon General's warning warning consumers of the possibility of cancer should they choose to smoke.
However, in a bizarre turn of events that no one has made much sense of yet, the EPA reversed their decision and claimed that glyphosate is not in fact carcinogenic at all–and it poses very low risk of toxicity to humans.
Many people now believe money changed hands and Monsanto is playing dirty to avoid receiving a bad rap for a product that brought farming into the next century, saving farmers millions each year by protecting their crops. While the latter may be true, it's not and never has been worth the cost of a human life. Personal Injury attorneys are seeing a rise of these Roundup claims and for good reason–Monsanto blatantly caused irreparable harm to consumers, leading to cancer diagnoses and wrongful deaths.
Independent medical studies conducted outside the watchful eye of government agencies have shown the link between Roundup and cancer in farmers and home gardeners alike is obvious. These findings have lead to multiple countries banning the use of Roundup permanently from store shelves and from being imported.
Monsanto's mad dash for money
Most recently, a judge allowed documents belonging to Monsanto to be unsealed. These documents provided evidence that the Roundup manufacturer themselves were conducting "government" lead studies into the safety of their glyphosate product. These studies were shown to have been conducted during the same period of time that the EPA was conducting their study, leading many to believe that money did in fact exchange hands to keep shelves stocked with Roundup for farmers. This is because Roundup made Monsanto almost 10 billion dollars in the last year alone.
Justice is in, Monsanto is out
There are several ways to qualify to be eligible for a lawsuit against glyphosate (Roundup) manufacturer Monsanto; to do this, the plaintiff must have:
- Used the Roundup product and were then diagnosed with cancer thereafter (non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is the largest type diagnosed–but others qualify)
- Surviving family members also qualify for eligibility to file a lawsuit against Monsanto if their loved one tragically died from cancer after the use of Roundup
Plaintiffs must retain Board Certified legal counsel that understands the complexities of a Class Action lawsuit. The legal process is lengthy and may take many years, but an experienced attorney can ensure justice is provided to those who have suffered the outcome of Monsanto's money grab.
Learn more about the harmful effects of Roundup by visiting our Class Action website at classactionlawsuit.legal