(Updated May 15, 2020)

Monsanto’s Roundup, the most commonly used weed killer in history, has been shown to cause cancer. Suffering Roundup users are filing lawsuits against Monsanto for their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but despite major trial losses, the company maintains that glyphosate is not a human carcinogen.

Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is the most applied weed-killer in the world. It is predominantly made with glyphosate, the most-used agricultural chemical ever. Nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate are used on crops worldwide each year.

The safety of Roundup is questionable at best. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), says that the chemical is “probably carcinogenic.”

Roundup has been linked to lymphatic cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among agricultural laborers and gardeners. Monsanto faces thousands of lawsuits in federal and state courts over the herbicide. Three cases have gone to trial, with juries returning verdicts of $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion against Monsanto. 

If you or a loved one contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup, please contact us for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You pay nothing unless we recover money for you.

Monsanto’s History Includes Agent Orange and GMOs

Even before glyphosate research emerged, Monsanto didn’t have a glowing reputation. The agricultural company manufactured Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and the environmentally harmful insulation chemical PCB until the 1980s.

Monsanto started selling glyphosate in the 1970s. Its popularity, however, emerged alongside the introduction of genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the late 1990s, which were designed to resist glyphosate. Through these “Roundup Ready” seeds, Monsanto has been able to control the agricultural industry, cementing glyphosate within the larger GMO debate.

The company faces critics and lawsuits worldwide. In 2013, annual March Against Monsanto events started to protest glyphosate and GMOs—400 marches across 40 countries happened for the 2015 event alone, and the event continues to draw crowds each year. Monsanto has repeatedly been named one of the world’s most-hated companies. 

Monsanto’s reputation is so damaged that after the $63 billion merger with Bayer in 2018, the new owners dropped the “Monsanto” name. Since acquiring Monsanto and its Roundup liabilities, Bayer shares have lost as much as 47% of their value as trials were lost and new cases have multiplied. Upset shareholders are pressuring Bayer to settle Roundup lawsuits. 

In an effort to discredit critics such as journalist Carey Gillam and nonprofit US Right to Know, Monsanto reportedly operated an “intelligence fusion center.” The report strengthens claims that Monsanto worked behind the scenes to manipulate the public’s perception of glyphosate safety. 

Glyphosate is More Common Now than Ever Before

Credit: Reuters

Glyphosate is an herbicide that targets a particular enzyme that is responsible for plant growth. Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds are resistant to its effects, causing only the weeds to die in its wake. They allege that the chemical is safe because this enzyme is only found in plants—not in humans nor animals.

Because the chemical has been used widely for 40 years, though, it has led to the creation of glyphosate-resistant superweeds. To date, as many as 317 glyphosate-resistant species have been reported around the world. In order to kill these unwanted plants, even stronger herbicides must be used on crops.

Already the most heavily used weed killer in history, glyphosate use is increasing worldwide. Seventy-five percent of all glyphosate sprayed since the 1970s occurred in the last 10 years alone. Though some countries are starting to restrict its use, these statistics suggest that glyphosate’s effects on environmental and human health will be present for years to come.

93% of People May Have Glyphosate in their Bodies

The spike in glyphosate use makes the chemical almost impossible to avoid, even for those who don’t directly handle Roundup. Traces of glyphosate have been found in oatmeal, honey, wine, and even baby food.

What’s more, even those who try to minimize their exposure by purchasing organic products are still at risk. Runoff from Roundup crops feed glyphosate into neighboring streams and rivers; animals, too, have been discovered to carry traces of glyphosate, making it a difficult chemical to contain.

In a study conducted by the Detox Project, 93 percent of volunteer test participants had traces of glyphosate in their bodies. Even scarier, children reported higher percentages of the chemical on average.

Glyphosate Linked to Health Complications

Correlation between celiac disease and glyphosate application. Courtesy of Nancy Swanson.

As more glyphosate is sprayed, more people suffer from a host of health complications like digestive diseases and food allergies.

2015 study found that rats who were exposed to Roundup in low doses suffered kidney and liver damage. In humans, MIT professor Stephanie Seneff found a correlation between the rise in glyphosate usage and celiac disease. Especially alarming, it has been linked to cancer (celiac patients have an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). Glyphosate is also linked to harmful impacts on bees and butterflies. 

W.H.O. Declares Glyphosate a “Probable Carcinogen”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), says that the chemical is “probably carcinogenic.” This report led to California listing glyphosate as a carcinogen under its Prop 65 law in 2016. With more than 250 crop systems that use glyphosate in the state, this could lead to a significant decrease in its usage.

Monsanto brought California to court, alleging that IARC’s report was inaccurate. California won the case but Monsanto continues to attack the IARC. They even teamed up with the American Chemical Council on the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research to discredit the international association.

Monsanto points to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for support, which has repeatedly found that glyphosate poses no rusks to public health when used as directed, and is not a carcinogen.  EPA reaffirmed these stances in January 2020. However, recent lawsuits allege that this could be because EPA officials were colluding with Monsanto. Internal correspondence from EPA toxicologist Marion Copley accused EPA scientist Jess Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science. One email recounted Rowland allegedly discussing how to stop a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review of glyphosate. According to a Monsanto email, Rowland told a company executive, “If I can kill this, I should get a medal.”

In 2019, the University of Washington researchers published an analysis that found exposure to glyphosate may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by more than 40 percent. The researchers noted that these findings align with the IARC’s glyphosate cancer assessment.

Thousands of Roundup Lawsuits Filed

From Nebraska to Hawaiian Kona Coffee farms, thousands of lawsuits have been filed since scientists discovered that Roundup was potentially carcinogenic. The plaintiffs allege that they regularly used the herbicide and were later diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Farmers, gardeners, groundskeepers, homeowners, and even children are among those who have filed suit. 

Complaints accuse the company of more than just manufacturing and selling a harmful product. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by ClassAction.com Of Counsel attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. alleges that Monsanto intentionally misinformed government agencies and the public about the safety of Roundup. Kennedy is part of a legal team representing plaintiffs in similar Roundup cases. More than 18,000 cases await trial in state and federal courts.

“Mounting evidence suggests that Monsanto knew about the hazards posed by glyphosate exposure, but failed to disclose this information to the public,” said Kennedy.

In August 2018, a San Francisco jury issued the first Roundup verdict. They awarded Dewayne Johnson, a former groundskeeper diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, $289 million in damages. The second and third Roundup lawsuits to go to trial resulted in $80 million and $2 billion verdicts, respectively. Notably, judges reduced punitive damage awards in all three cases, saying they were excessive. 

These trial defeats have fueled speculation that Bayer will settle remaining Roundup lawsuits. A judge ordered Bayer to enter settlement talks with well-known mediator Kenneth Feinberg. Bloomberg reported in August 2019 that Bayer was floating an $8 billion settlement, although Feinberg dismissed the report as “pure fiction.” Since then, settlement talks stalled in early 2020 when the pandemic hit.

ClassAction.com Will Fight For You

ClassAction.com attorneys are fighting to hold Monsanto accountable for their hazardous products. If you used Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer and were diagnosed with lymphatic cancer like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, we want to hear from you.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review. You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.