Link Between Roundup Weed Killer and Cancer Causes Concern Over Health, Leading to Lawsuits
Dolman Law Group is now investigating potential cases against Monsanto after their popular herbicide product, Roundup Weed Killer, has been linked to the diagnosis of cancer—specifically, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia. Our legal actions comes in the wake of other successful lawsuits against Monsanto in which the agricultural company was found to know about their product’s risk for cancer but failed to warn their consumers. If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of using roundup weed killer, contact us immediately.
The two most prominent lawsuits filled against the maker of Roundup were both filed in California. In these two separate cases, one person was initially awarded $289 million and the other was awarded $80 million. Both of these plaintiffs were diagnosed with a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after both individuals used Roundup weed killer for years.
If Monsanto did know about the carcinogenic effects of their product—and rather than pulling the product, changing the label, or changing the formula, they decided to continue to make billions of dollars off the product—then they should be held responsible. Dolman Law Group intends to hold the mega corporation Monsanto to the same standards of care that all chemicals company have when they sell a product in millions of stores to millions of consumers.
What is Roundup Weed Killer?
Roundup weed killer—and more specifically the main weed killing ingredient, glyphosate—was developed some 50 years ago by a chemist named John Franz while working for the agricultural-giant Monsanto. Glyphosate’s popularity is attributed to its main difference from other herbicides: it’s a non-selective weed killer. This means that Roundup kills virtually all plants with which it comes in contact, a big selling point since one would no longer needs to buy multiple products.
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is an herbicide, meaning it is applied to plants to kill them. Glyphosate is known specifically for being effective against most types of plants, specifically it kills both broadleaf plants and grasses. The chemical can also be used to regulate plant growth and ripen some crops by utilizing the salt found in glyphosate.
Glyphosate prevents plants and grasses from internally producing certain types of proteins that the plants need to grow.
Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the US, being used in agriculture, forestry, lawn care, gardening, and to maintain commercial properties. Because of this extremely wide use, it is safe to say that millions of professionals and everyday people alike, have used glyphosate.
One cannot underestimate the popularity of this herbicide. Glyphosate is used in over 750 products in America alone and Farm Chemicals Magazine named Roundup as one of the “Top Ten Products that Changed the Face of Agriculture.”
Noting its popularity and widespread use, it is important to know that The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has indicated as recently as 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Carcinogenic simply means that something causes cancer in the human body.
What products, other than Roundup, use glyphosate?
In addition to traditional Roundup, other common weedkillers use glyphosate. Some of these brands include: Accord, Honcho, Pondmaster, Protocol, Rascal, Roundup, Roundup Pro, and Roundup Ultra. It is possible that these products may also be linked to cancer in people exposed to these products.
Why wouldn’t a company like Monsanto want to remove a harmful chemical from the market?
The answer to this question is simple. A large corporation like Monsanto does not want to pull Roundup from the consumer market, even though it may very well be causing cancer, because of profits. According to Roundup’s website, Monsanto “built new labs, hired new scientists, performed year upon year of research and spent billions of dollars [developing the chemical].” In their own words, they performed years of research and spent billions of dollars. With that kind of investment, one could easily predict that Monsanto will be willing to invest millions of dollars in defense of their product to prevent a multi-billion dollar loss.
Does Roundup Cause Cancer?
A study published in February 2019 found that exposure to glyphosate raises the risk of cancer by 41%. This study was a meta-analysis done by Science Direct that included a 2018 study published by Agricultural Health Study, along with five other case-control studies. These researchers found “a compelling link” between glyphosate herbicides and an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer. Read on to learn more about NHL.
To help put their findings into context, Science Direct also compared their findings of a link between glyphosate exposure and increased non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk to other studies available that were performed on animals and non-animal. This additional analysis found evidence of malignant lymphoma in mice exposed to glyphosate, as well as potential links between glyphosate and immunosuppression, endocrine disruption, and genetic alterations.
What Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the process of cells growing out of control. As cancer cells form in one part of the body, they can, and often do, spread to other areas. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells of your body’s immune system. These white blood cells are known as lymphocytes.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma describes many different types of lymphoma that have similar characteristics. As one would expect, there is also a type of lymphoma called Hodgkin lymphoma, which is different from NHL.
NHL usually begins to develop in the body’s lymph nodes or other lymphatic tissue, but it can also begin development on the skin. This is a type of skin cancer. To be clear, lymphoma can also start in the following areas of the body:
- lymph nodes,
- bone marrow,
- adenoids and tonsils,
- and digestive tract.
Types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
In order for doctors to effectively treat lymphoma, it is important that they understand what type a person has. The type of lymphoma depends on a few different factors, like what type of lymphocyte is affected (B cells or T cells) and how mature the cells are when they become cancerous.
B lymphocytes, or B cells, protect the body against germs, bacteria, and viruses through the production of proteins called antibodies. The antibodies attach to the germs and mark them for destruction by the immune system.
T lymphocytes, or T cells, destroy germs or other abnormal cells in the body. They can also help boost or slow down the other immune system cells.
Lymphoma can start in either B or T lymphocytes, but B-cell lymphoma is most common.
Additionally, non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be typed based on how fast it grows and spreads. Slow growing lymphomas are known as indolent lymphomas and might need monitoring as opposed to immediate treatment. Lymphomas that spread and grow quickly are known as aggressive lymphomas, and usually need immediate treatment.
Regardless of which type one has, all NHL can spread to other parts of the body. Because of this, NHL is an extremely serious type of cancer that will require either aggressive treatment or extremely close monitoring.
Now that we’ve reviewed a meta-analysis on the link between glyphosate and cancer and reviewed exactly what lymphoma cancer is, let’s take a look at what have the courts found in the above mentioned cases that adds to the evidence that Roundup causes cancer.
What Recent Verdicts Have Been Awarded Against Roundup?
Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Verdict
One of the first Roundup cases that went to trial was between Dewayne Johnson and Monsanto. Johnson sued Monsanto because he believed the company was responsible for the development of his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Johnson was routinely exposed to glyphosate (Roundup) routinely while performing his regular duties as a school groundskeeper.
In August 2018, a San Francisco jury unanimously found Monsanto was responsible for Johnson’s cancer because they had failed to warn consumers of the carcinogenic dangers of its products.
Johnson is not alone in his suing of Monsanto for cancer. In fact, some 11,000 other cases are awaiting trial; Dewayne Johnson was just the first to have his case heard.
The California jury initially awarded Johnson $289 million; the judge later lowered this judgement to $78 million.
In addition to scientific evidence regarding cancer and glyphosate, the Johnson case also revealed other stunning information that points towards Monsanto’s involvement in hiding the carcinogenic effects of their products.
Internal records showed that Monsanto possibly faked scientific papers that claimed their products were safe. These records also showed possible plans on Monsanto’s part to discredit IARC findings that there is a link between Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate and cancer (see above info about IARC study).
The jury deliberated for three days before finding that Roundup contributed to Johnson’s terminal cancer. The jury also believed that Monsanto should have placed a warning label on their glyphosate products that would have warned consumers of the chemical’s potential hazard.
Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Verdict
The second prominent case to make recent news differs slightly from Johnson’s case in that it is the first Roundup claim that has made it to a federal court. In March 2019, a federal jury found Monsanto responsible for a California man’s cancer that they determined was partly caused by Roundup. In this case, the jury awarded the man over $80 million in damages.
$75 million was awarded for punitive damages, another $5 million was awarded for the plaintiff’s past and future pain and suffering, and another $200,000 was granted for his medical bills.
The plaintiff in this case was Edwin Hardeman, a 70 year old man who used Roundup on his personal property for 26 years. In 2015, he was diagnosed with a serious form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Again, the jury thought Monsanto failed to warn consumers of the weedkiller’s risk of causing cancer by properly labeling their products.
Monsanto Appeals Roundup Lawsuit Verdict due to ‘Bad Scientific Evidence’
Monsanto has made it clear that they will appeal these verdicts aggressively. They claim that scientific evidence from the studies and expert opinions used in the cases were faulty. Bayer, who recently purchased Monsanto, claims the verdicts should be thrown out because the scientific evidence used in the lawsuits contradicts other scientific studies that have suggested glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Monsanto says the plaintiff’s attorneys cherry-picked the evidence that helped their case and used emotionally charged language to make Monsanto look malicious.
An article published by the reputable site Reuters, stated that appealing this process could be quite difficult. According to the article, “[the] judge carefully considered whether to allow [Dewayne] Johnson’s scientific evidence under California law and reached a defensible conclusion that the jury should hear it.” The article goes on to quote Lars Noah from the University of Florida, stating, “This is one of those difficult questions at the margins of science and the judge found the evidence [was admissible].”
Another Blow to Monsanto as Retailers Pull Roundup from Shelves
Costco, one of America’s largest retailers, has reportedly decided to begin to stop selling glyphosate-containing Roundup. This decision was possibly made in part due to a petition by Moms Across America who has collected more than 150,000 signatures on Change.org.
The founder of Moms Across America said they contacted Monsanto’s headquarters but did not hear back. However, they claim that after speaking to multiple different Costcos, they have heard the company will not be ordering the product in future shipments.
At the time of writing this article, Costco has not released an official statement, but the product supposedly has been pulled from shelves due to corporate instructions.
Moms Across America is further seeking for corporate giants, Home Depot and Lowe’s, to pull the product from their shelves.
Who is at risk of developing cancer from Roundup?
Like we mentioned, Roundup is extremely common and has been for some time. Because of this, many people have been exposed to the chemical. These people include:
- commercial farmers;
- commercial agricultural workers, like pickers;
- professional landscapers;
- privately-hired landscapers;
- home gardeners,
- homeowners using it around the house,
- and property investors with rental properties.
Basically, anyone who sprayed Roundup to kill weeds around any property could be at risk. Those who used the product routinely and over longer periods of time are probably most at risk.
If you have come into contact with glyphosate and/or Roundup weed killer, and you have subsequently developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or some other type of cancer, contact the Roundup Lawsuit Attorneys at Dolman Law Group.
Do I qualify for a Roundup lawsuit?
Dolman Law Group will gladly meet with you in a free consultation to go over the details of your situation and to determine if your claim fits within the guidelines of these lawsuits. If you were exposed to Roundup and have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer, contact us right away.
As we mentioned earlier, cancer could be caused by other glyphosate products, so if you developed cancer after using some glyphosate product other than Roundup, you may be eligible as well.
Contact a Roundup Weed Killer Attorney Today
If you were exposed to Roundup Weed Killer and were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, contact the experienced lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. Our attorneys are known for aggressively pursuing large, complicated cases all the way to trial. We are actively taking Roundup cases right now, so contact us today by calling 727-451-6900 or by visiting our contact us page.
*The above information was written and reviewed by either Attorney Matthew Dolman or another injury lawyer at the Dolman Law Group which has a combined 90 plus years of experience practicing Florida personal injury law. Matthew Dolman himself has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater and St. Petersburg for the last fifteen (15) years. The information provided comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms throughout Florida.
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