What is the Connection Between Roundup and Cancer Risk?
NC Product Liability Lawyers Explain Dangerous Effects of Monsanto Herbicides
Roundup is the commercial name for a broad spectrum weed and grass killing herbicide manufactured by the Monsanto corporation. It is also sometimes called “glyphosate,” which is its main chemical component. In the United States, Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in agricultural sectors, and the second most commonly used herbicide in homes and gardens. However, studies from as early as the 1980s have shown a link between Roundup and cancer, especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In July of 2017, California regulators began requiring warning labels on Roundup stating that the product is known to cause cancer. Nevertheless, Monsanto continues to market Roundup and other potentially defective products, placing possibly millions of people at risk for cancer.
If you or a loved one developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or a related cancer and regularly use a product containing glyphosate, then you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability claim. Contact the North Carolina product liability lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP, for a free initial consultation. If you have grounds for a claim, then we can represent your interests. Our attorneys may also be able to help you join an ongoing class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation.
What is Roundup and Where is It Used?
Roundup is used on an estimated 80 percent of croplands in the United States. This includes farmland for crops like alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat. Many of these crops are then fed to animals, meaning the herbicide’s reach extends broadly across the entire food chain. For example, glyphosate-contaminated crops may feed cows which are used to produce milk, chickens used in the poultry industry and pigs slaughtered for bacon. People who eat or drink these products are thus at risk for secondhand exposure.
Since coming to market in 1974, Roundup has been a huge commercial success for Monsanto in two main ways. First, the sale of the herbicide itself is a huge stream of revenue. However, perhaps even more importantly, Monsanto created and now markets genetically modified crops that are resistant to Roundup. This allows farmers to plant crops that are immune to the spraying of the herbicide across their fields, which seemingly decreases a farmer’s workload. As a result of these two complimentary ventures, Roundup now generates an estimated $5 billion in yearly revenue for Monsanto.
However, as early as the 1980s, questions began to arise as to whether glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, was safe for humans. After several studies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even issued a warning that glyphosate might cause cancer. However, in 1991, under heavy industry and political pressure, the EPA reversed its decision, citing a lack of “convincing evidence of carcinogenicity.” However, this point is still hotly contested.
In 2017, California included Roundup on its list of cancerous chemicals. It also became the first state requiring warning labels on Roundup that specifically state the chemical’s connection to cancer. This requirement will take effect in 2018.
What Other Studies Have Linked Roundup and Cancer?
After the release of the Canadian study, other researchers began looking at Roundup and glyphosate. Since then, numerous studies have echoed the Canadian team’s concerns or expounded upon them. Some subsequent studies and their findings include:
However, not all studies have reached the same conclusions. Numerous other studies have suggested the opposite: that glyphosate is safe. Indeed, Monsanto continues to maintain that the chemical is harmless if used for its intended purposes. However, some scientists have hypothesized that even if Monsanto’s science is correct and glyphosate is not carcinogenic and/or genotoxic, Roundup can still be dangerous. Glyphosate in Roundup may interact with other chemicals in the product in a way that makes it more dangerous than exposure to only glyphosate itself.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Exposure to Roundup?
Despite the EPA’s decision in 1991, some scientists continued to look at glyphosate. In November of 2001, a group of Canadian scientists published “Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers” in which they noted a connection between the chemical glyphosate and non-Hogkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hogkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that spreads though the body’s own immune system. It rows in the lymphocytes, which are the white blood cells the human body uses to fight disease.
As scientists continue to perform tests to study the connection between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and glyphosate, there has been some question as to whether there may be a link between Roundup and cancer of other kinds. These include:
According to its label, Roundup is 41 percent glyphosate and 59 percent “other ingredients”. The label does not specify these other ingredients. Roundup comes in several formulations, but the largest sellers, Roundup Ultra and Roundup Pro, contain several other potentially harmful chemicals. One is the chemical surfactant called POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine). POEA is a soap-like chemical that is toxic to aquatic life. Its inclusion in Roundup allows the glyphosate to penetrate into broad leaves, making it more effective against weeds. Several scientists have begun openly questioning whether glyphosate is more toxic when combined with other chemicals such as POEA.
Do Other Products Contain Glyphosate?
Since glyphosate is the probable link between Roundup and cancer, questions therefore also extend to other products that include this chemical. These other potentially defective products include:
If you or a loved one developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or any related cancer after using these products, then contact our law firm today. You may have legal recourse for compensation through a product liability claim.
Can I File a Product Liability Lawsuit for Glyphosate Exposure?
As questions have arisen about Roundup and its related products, many lawsuits have been filed across the country alleging personal injuries from persons directly exposed to the herbicide. As of October 2016, there were 37 federal lawsuits against Monsanto and many more will likely follow. Those lawsuits were centralized into one court in the Northern District of California for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). This allows one judge to conduct the discovery for all the claims.
Monsanto has denied any wrongdoing or liability, claiming that its products are safe and that its warning labels are more than adequate to convey any risks associated with human exposure to glyphosate. In fact, the corporation has gone on the offensive.
In 2016, the state of California passed a law requiring products containing glyphosate to contain a new warning label. This label must state that studies have found the chemical to be a possible carcinogen. Monsanto lobbied hard against the law, but the rule came into effect anyway when it passed via a referendum. Monsanto then filed suit trying to block the law on various grounds, but a judge recently dismissed their claim.
If you developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another cancer mentioned above after exposure to glyphosate, then contact the product liability lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP. We are currently investigating these claims involving North Carolina farmers and other individuals.
Questions About Roundup and Cancer? Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers Now
With so many ongoing and highly publicized lawsuits, it is important to consult a lawyer if you feel that you may have suffered harms as a result of glyphosate exposure. Our attorneys offer free consultations and we are happy to evaluate your potential product liability claim.
We have law offices throughout North Carolina, including locations in Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jacksonville and Kinston. Call (800) 525-7111 or contact us online to schedule a free case review today.