May 3, 2019 — In an ongoing trial over the cancer risks of Roundup, an expert warned attorneys to wear gloves while handling open bottles of the weed-killer in the courtroom.
The expert, toxicologist William Sawyer, was called to the stand to testify on behalf of Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a married couple who both developed aggressive lymphoma after decades of spraying Roundup.
Sawyer warned attorneys to wear gloves when touching Roundup because it is absorbed by the skin and stored in the body for days.
Sawyer criticized Monsanto for failing to conduct any long-term studies of Roundup exposure in animals, and falsely claiming that glyphosate is the only potentially toxic chemical in Roundup.
The Pilliods used Roundup that contained POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine) a surfactant that makes glyphosate 50-times more toxic than glyphosate alone, which is why POEA is banned in Europe.
Once glyphosate penetrates the skin, Sawyer said, the chemical is then stored under the top skin layer, where it delivers a dose of glyphosate to the body and bones for at least 7 days.
Monsanto’s expert, Robert N. Phalen, refuted Sawyer’s testimony. He claimed that less than 1% of glyphosate is absorbed through the skin Furthermore, he said it is “rapidly” excreted, primarily through urine.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reiterated its position that glyphosate probably does not cause cancer. However, the EPA did identify risks to pollinator species like butterflies and bees.
The Pilliod trial in Oakland, California, is the 3rd case to go to trial out of around 11,200 lawsuits alleging that Roundup causes cancer.
The lawsuit is In RE: Pilliod v. Monsanto Co. — Case No. RG17862702 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda.
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