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Roundup: Cancer-Causing Herbicide?

*This is an update to our blog published in May of 2015.*

Lawsuits against RoundUp weed killerRoundup® is the world’s most widely-used herbicide by volume and in the United States is the most popular weed and grass killer on the market. As far back as 1985 and more than 30 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, may cause cancer.

In early October of 2016 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted a motion to create a docket for claims relating to Monsanto’s Roundup. This shows a growing number of cases linking this herbicide to cancer, including the one our firm is working on.

In 1986, despite studies provided it in 1985, the EPA requested that more studies be done on the effects that glyphosate may have on human health and the environment, and granted Roundup registration.

Although several countries have banned or limited its use based on extensive additional study of glyphosate’s harmful effects on human health and the environment, in 1991, the EPA altogether abandoned its concerns and declared glyphosate non-carcinogenic, which reversal did not garner unanimous support from the review committee responsible for that determination.

To date and despite over-whelming scientific evidence regarding the dangers associated with exposure to the glyphosate in Roundup, Monsanto continues to fail to properly warn consumers of the same, even after a March 20, 2015 declaration by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate is in fact a probable carcinogen to humans.

IARC is a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) which specializes in cancer research and represents the “gold standard” in carcinogenicity studies to the rest of the world.  Its 17 member panel reviewed hundreds of studies for more than one year before making this unprecedented leap in danger for a chemical from “non-carcinogenic” to a “probable carcinogen.” The IARC report states that glyphosate had “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma”, but studies also support glyphosate’s connection to the development of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Soft Tissue Sarcomas, and Multiple Myelomas.

Monsanto’s CEO in response stated that he didn’t see the issue impacting the business, and that the company will continue to support the product.  He further deemed this determination as nothing more than “unfortunate noise” and a “distraction rather than a reality.”

The EPA in the meantime has indicated that it is currently reviewing the IARC’s findings, but consumers nonetheless remain without the information they have a right to, in order to take proper precautions when using Roundup.

While it’s understandable that Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, is protective of glyphosate’s reputation based on the nearly $6 billion it generates for the company in annual revenues, what remains concerning is its lack of concern over the injuries exposure to glyphosate continues to cause in the absence of proper precautions on its labeling.

Keep in mind that Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing Roundup has been available in generic form since its patent expired in 2000 from companies with continuing ties to Monsanto.

The revenues generated by Roundup are well complemented by increasing sale of Monsanto’s seeds which have been genetically modified to be resistant to, and therefore require increased applications of Roundup.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to glyphosate and are suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphatic leukemia, please contact McDivitt Law Firm for a free evaluation of your potential case.

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