The weed-killer Roundup has been declared a “probable human carcinogen” by the cancer-research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). Studies around the world have found evidence linking it to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancer.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Roundup induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with lymphoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What is Roundup?
Roundup contains glyphosate, is the most popular herbicide in the world. It also contains a chemical called POEA that helps glyphosate get into cells. The popularity of Roundup exploded in the mid-1990s, when Monsanto genetically-engineered (GMO) corn, soy, and cotton seeds to survive being sprayed. Roundup now generates $5 billion in yearly revenue for Monsanto.
Is Roundup In My Food?
Residues of glyphosate have been found in oats, wheat, honey, organic eggs, soy coffee creamer, and many other foods. It is used on over 80% of croplands in the U.S. and many backyard gardens. Most of it is sprayed on crops like alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets, which are grown feed people and animals we eat like cows, pigs, and chickens. Roundup is also sprayed on wheat to dry it out just before harvest, which is why whole-grain oats and flours are often contaminated.
How Does Roundup Work?
The active ingredient, glyphosate was commercialized by Monsanto in 1974. It works by specifically inhibiting an enzyme that is essential to plant growth and life. Roundup also contains other chemicals that help glyphosate get into the plant. For example, most formulations of Roundup contain a chemical surfactant called POEA that is known to be toxic to aquatic animals. Monsanto insists that glyphosate alone is harmless. However, the combination of POEA and glyphosate is much more hazardous than glyphosate on its own.
Products That Contain Glyphosate
- Roundup Ultra®, Roundup Pro®, Accord®, Honcho®, Pondmaster®, Protocol®, Rascal®, Expedite®, Ranger®, Bronco®, Campain®, Landmaster®, and Fallow Master® by Monsanto
- Glyphomax®, Glypro®, Rodeo® by Dow AgroSciences
- Glyphosate herbicide by Du Pont
- Silhouette® by Cenex/Land O’Lakes
- Rattler® by Helena
- MirageR® by Platte
- JuryR® by Riverside/Terra
- Touchdown® by Zeneca
- And more
IARC: Roundup Probably Causes Cancer in Humans
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization, declared the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) as “probably carcinogenic for humans” in March 2015. The warning was based on “convincing evidence” that glyphosate causes cancer in laboratory rats and mice. In humans, there is “limited evidence” linking Roundup and cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and DNA/chromosomal damage.
Roundup and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Roundup is primarily associated with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the immune system. Studies have found higher rates of this cancer in farm-workers in Canada, Sweden, and the United States who were exposed to large amounts of Roundup:
- International Journal of Cancer (October 2008): Swedish study concluded that exposure to glyphosate doubled the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma within less than 10 years.
- Occupational and Environmental Medicine (September 2003): American study of over 3,400 farmworkers in the midwest found higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma associated with glyphosate exposure.
- Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers (November 2001): Canadian study found a dose-response relationship between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Types of Cancer Linked to Roundup
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Large Diffuse B-cell
- Follicullar Lymphoma
- Cutaneous T-Cell
- Anapalastic T-cell
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma
As of mid-October 2016, there were 37 federal Roundup lawsuits against Monsanto. The number of lawsuits has grown significantly since April 2016, when a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit, paving the way for lawsuits to be filed by people who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Dozens of Lawsuits Centralized in MDL
In October 2016, federal judges centralized dozens of Roundup lawsuits into one Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2741) in the Northern District of California. Monsanto is accused of failing to warn about the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lawyers also say the combination of glyphosate with the chemical POEA makes Roundup even more toxic.
California Farmer Files Landmark Case
The family of a California farmer who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma has filed a Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto. The case is unique because the plaintiff, Anthony “Jack” McCall, did not use any other pesticides or herbicides on his farm, never smoked, stayed in shape, and had no history of lymphoma.
What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer that can start nearly anywhere in the body. It is a blood cancer that grows in lymphocytes, which are white blood cells in the immune system that help the body fight diseases. For more information:
- What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
- What causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
- What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
- How is non-Hodgkin lymphoma treated?
EPA Not Convinced on Cancer Risks
In the 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that glyphosate might cause cancer. In 1991, the EPA reversed its decision and said there was a lack of “convincing carcinogenicity evidence.” However, in the last two decades, evidence linking Roundup and cancer has grown considerably.
Roundup Linked to Chromosomal/DNA Damage
In another study from 2009, farm workers in four coffee-growing regions in Columbia had “increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage” after spraying of glyphosate compared to non-exposed workers who grew organic coffee.
Cancer in Rats and Mice Exposed to Roundup
The review also highlighted studies linking glyphosate and cancer in animals. Two studies involving male mice who were exposed to glyphosate reported higher rates of cancer, including renal tubule carcinoma and haemangiosarcoma — a rapidly-growing, highly-invasive sarcoma in the lining of the blood vessels.
FDA Starts Testing Food for Roundup
Health officials do not normally test your food for contamination with Roundup. It was not until February 2016 that the FDA said it would start testing for Roundup residue in food.
Every year, the USDA tests thousands of samples of food for hundreds of different pesticides, but not glyphosate. Only in one year, 2011, did the agency test for glyphosate. Out of 300 soybean samples, 271 had residues of glyphosate between 0.26 to 18.5 ppm, below the EPA-set tolerance of 20-ppm.
U.S. Honey Tests Positive for Roundup
In January 2016, FDA researchers tested about 10 samples of American honey. All of them tested positive for glyphosate, and some had twice the legal limit of 50 parts per billion (ppb) set in the European Union (EU). The problem is that bees are visiting fields that have been sprayed and carrying Roundup back to their hives.
Roundup Class Action Lawsuit
In April 2015, a Roundup class action lawsuit (Case No: BC 578 942) was filed in Los Angeles County, California. Monsanto is accused of false advertising for claiming that Roundup is harmless to human health because “glyphosate targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.”
Regulators Express Concerns About Roundup
The regulatory status of Roundup in the European Union (EU) has been questioned after several countries refused to extend its 15-year license. Their concerns were based on growing evidence of health risks. According to Bloomberg:
“In February, testing found traces of glyphosate in German beer and organic panty liners sold in France. Other tests have found chemical residue in British bread, as well as in the urine of people across Europe.”
In August 2015, a bill was introduced in Hawaii that would ban spraying of Monsanto’s weed-killer Roundup and other herbicides on public roads, sidewalks, parks, waterways, and more.
In June 2015, Roundup was banned from home-gardening centers in France just weeks after it was declared a “probable” human carcinogen by the UN.
That same month, Roundup was declared a carcinogen by Denmark’s Working Environmental Authority. Danish experts spoke to the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) and warned that Roundup should not be used by gardeners to control weeds.
Do I have a Roundup Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Roundup induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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