Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Cause Cancer. Litigation alleging Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer continues to move forward, as U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria has ordered parties in the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL) to submit briefs related to cancer studies. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was declared a “probable human carcinogen” in March 2015 by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are closely monitoring events in the Monsanto RoundUp herbicide litigation. The firm, which has decades of experience representing clients in lawsuits over environmental health risks, continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions.
Prior to issuing this announcement, 17 leading cancer experts from 11 different countries met to discuss the cancer risks associated with five pesticides. In light of the IARC designation, the European Parliament said that glyphosate should not be used for non-commercial public use.
However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs had contrary announcements. In September 2016, the agency said with regards to Roundup’s cancer risk, “[t]he strongest support is for [the description] ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans’ at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.”
Plaintiffs in the Roundup MDL are alleging, among other things, that the EPA findings were based on flawed research. Similarly, Monsanto is using the same argument with regards to IARC. Judge Chhabria wrote in a pretrial order, “It appears the plaintiffs are preparing to argue that the EPA’s conclusions about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate are flawed and/or biased. It appears Monsanto is preparing to argue the same with respect to IARC. It’s not obvious how directly relevant these arguments are to the questions the Court must consider during the general-causation phase of this case.”
The judge had ordered briefs to be submitted for these allegations.
Court records show that one Roundup lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Illinois man who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, allegedly due to the herbicide. The suit, like others, alleges that Monsanto has known about the risks for years but failed to warn the public.
California can Place Cancer Warning on Roundup, Court Rules
In addition to Roundup cancer lawsuits filed on behalf of consumers, Monsanto is also entangled in litigation with the state of California, which wants to place a warning label on glyphosate following the IARC warning. However, the company has tried to argue against this move in court.
Fresno County Superior Judge Kristi Kapetan has ruled that California is allowed to mandate a cancer warning for Roundup. If finalized, California would be the first state to warn of carcinogenic effects with glyphosate.
After the IARC announcement, the California Environmental Protection Agency said it would list glyphosate as a known carcinogen under its Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
Roundup Cancer Risks, Safety Concerns
A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports linked Roundup to liver disease. The findings have widespread implications, as authors have provided a causative link between glyphosate and liver problems for the first time. The study was conducted by researchers at Kings College, London, who found that small quantities of glyphosate caused a liver disease known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rats.
The study is titled, “Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide“.
Dr. Michael Antoniou, of Kings College in London is the lead author. He said the findings are cause for concern and may influence regulatory action. “The findings of our study are very worrying as they demonstrate for the first time a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of Roundup consumption over the long-term and a serious disease,” said Dr. Antoniou, according to Daily Mail UK. “Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides.”
“The concentration of glyphosate that was added to the drinking water of the rats corresponds to a concentration found in tap water for human consumption,” said Dr. Robin Mesnage, a Kings College research associate, according to Daily Mail UK. “It is also lower than the contamination of some foodstuffs.”
“The study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease condition,” the authors concluded. “These results demonstrate that long-term consumption of an ultra-low, environmentally relevant dose of Roundup at a glyphosate daily intake level of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels, results in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”
“Regulators worldwide accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health risks. Therefore, the results of this latest study may have serious consequences for human health.” The FDA has said it would begin testing food for glyphosate residues for the first time.