Issues Associated with Roundup

Lawsuits are beginning to grow against Monsanto, the agribusiness giant responsible for Roundup, a potent weed killer containing glyphosate. Many attorneys involved in Monsanto lawsuits believe by the end of 2017, those lawsuits could number in the thousands. A short history of Monsanto offers a clearer view of the current issues. Monsanto’s first product was saccharin, in 1901, then the company expanded into basic industrial chemicals by the 1920’s. In addition to Agent Orange (dioxin), and PCBs, Monsanto contributed to research on uranium for the Manhattan Project. In fact, Monsanto operated a U.S. nuclear facility until near the end of the 80s.

During the 40’s Monsanto also became a leading manufacturer of polystyrene, which is now ranked fifth on the EPAs list of chemicals which produce the greatest amounts of hazardous waste. Finally, in an effort to clean up their sullied reputation, Monsanto abandoned chemical-laden factories across the USA while simultaneously creating toxic wastelands across Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Alabama, West Virginia and Missouri which are laden with carcinogens such as dioxin, radium, arsenic and PCBs. These abandoned factories and toxic wastelands are classified as “superfund sites,” which means they are an “overpoweringly potent toxic waste bin.”

Glyphosate Recently Re-Classified as Probably Carcinogenic to Humans

Monsanto’s Agriculture division was struggling, and, although the success of their herbicide Lasso helped boost the division, by the time Agent Orange was banned, Monsanto faced further criticism for Lasso. The weedkiller we know as Roundup was born at this time, with the active ingredient, glyphosate which was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015. Glyphosate is currently the most widely produced herbicide by volume across the globe and is used both in agriculture and by the backyard gardener.

In fact, Roundup, launched in 1976, helped make Monsanto the largest producer of herbicides. Several studies have shown that those who work with glyphosate have been shown to be at an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other studies have linked tumors in mice and rats to glyphosate. Obviously, Monsanto is fighting back against those who say the chemical is toxic.

Feeding a Hungry World or Preserving the Cash Flow of Roundup?

Monsanto has always portrayed genetic engineering as a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world. In house, however, the pitch to fellow Monsanto executives was that genetic engineering would allow the company to preserve the commercial life of the most lucrative Monsanto product, Roundup. Monsanto accomplished this feat by introducing genes into crops which were resistant to glyphosate. This allowed farmers to spray their crops with Roundup, killing the weeds but not the crops. By coupling glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified crops with Roundup, Monsanto was able to preserve its dominant sales of the chemical.

How Glyphosate Can Cause Cancer

The current lawsuits are not alleging glyphosate alone caused the plaintiffs’ cancers, rather that Roundup—which contains animal fats and other ingredients which increase glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties—caused the cancers. The ways in which glyphosate can lead to cancer include:

  • Disruption of the endocrine system;
  • Inhibition of DNA-repairing enzymes in the body;
  • Suppression of the immune system;
  • Destruction of beneficial stomach bacteria;
  • Pancreatic and renal damage which can lead to cancer;
  • Inhibition of essential nutrient absorption;
  • Genotoxicity—a key component in the onset of cancer, and
  • The formation of free radicals and the inhibition of free radical-scavenging enzymes.

Farm Workers Twice as Likely to Develop Lymphoma When Exposed to Roundup

Contrary to Monsanto’s claims that Roundup is “safer than table salt,” independent studies have shown that exposure to Roundup makes farm workers twice as likely to develop lymphoma. Many farmers have been intentionally misled, when they were told Roundup was safe. If they had been aware of the risks involved in using Roundup, they would have most certainly gone to great lengths to protect themselves and minimize their contact with Roundup. If you have developed lymphoma, or another type of cancer, and you feel Roundup is responsible, it could be advantageous for you to speak to a knowledgeable Philadelphia class action attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will protect your rights and your future, and answer any questions you may have.

To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please call the Philadelphia environmental and class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. today at (215) 278-4449 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The national environmental and class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.