Monsanto Facing Lawsuit Alleging Exposure to Glyphosate Found in the Herbicide Roundup

March 17, 2016

A Number of Personal Injury Cases Have Been Filed Recently Alleging Injuries Associated With Exposure to Roundup

Michael J. Miller, Senior Partner, The Miller Firm and Michael Perez, Clerk, The Miller Firm

(Washington, DC, Thursday, March 17, 2016) – In the nearly 20 years of intensifying exposure, scientists have been documenting the health consequences of Roundup and glyphosate in our food, water and air. They’ve found that people who are sick have higher levels of glyphosate in their bodies than healthy people. Monsanto has marketed Roundup to parks departments and consumers as “biodegradable” and “environmentally friendly,” to also encourage its use it on playgrounds, golf courses, lawns, and home gardens.

Monsanto is facing a lawsuit alleging that exposure to glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the company’s flagship product Roundup, causes cancer.  A number of personal injury cases have been filed recently alleging injuries associated with exposure to glyphosate in Roundup.

Monsanto is currently suing to block the state of California from listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen. More than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are applied to fields in the United States annually, according to the US Geological Survey.

The three complaints were filed in recent months in federal court in Hawaii and the Northern and Central Districts of California. All alleged that exposure to the herbicide caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In March 2015, a World Health Organization panel released a study that concluded there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals exposed to glyphosate. The panel determined that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans.

Monsanto invented the herbicide glyphosate and brought it to market under the name Roundup in 1974, after DDT was banned. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the use of Roundup surged, due to Monsanto’s strategy of genetically engineering seeds to grow food crops that could tolerate high doses of Roundup. With the introduction of these new GE seeds, farmers could now easily control weeds on their corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa crops—crops that thrived while the weeds around them were wiped out by Roundup. Eager to sell more of its flagship herbicide, Monsanto also encouraged farmers to use Roundup as a desiccant. Roundup is now routinely sprayed directly on non-GMO crops, including wheat, barley, oats, canola, flax, peas, lentils, soybeans, dry beans, and sugar cane.

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