Active Ingredient in “Round-up’ Weed Killer is Dangerous to Humans.The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a sub-group of the World Health Organization, announced that glyphosate is a carcinogen and is therefore dangerous to human after studying the substance from 2015 to 2016. Glyphosate is an herbicide, or plant killer, used as the active ingredient in “Round-up” weed killer. The makers of Round-up, Monsanto, deny that its product can cause cancer to anyone who comes in contact with the substance. Notwithstanding those denials, plaintiffs claiming that they are suffering from cancer have filed lawsuits in federal courts throughout the United States in pursuit of damages as compensation for their illnesses.
Anyone who believes they contracted cancer from handling Round-up should contact Parker Waichman LLP. The defective products lawyers with Parker Waichman LLP have vast experience vigorously pursuing damage claims for their clients who were injured by coming in contact with defective or dangerous products. The time to file a claim is limited. Therefore, consumers who fell ill, or their families if the person died, should not delay in filing a claim for damages.
The IARC studied five herbicides and pesticides to inquire about the potentially harmful consequences exposure might have on humans. Glyphosate is one of the five. The IARC selected glyphosate because the chemical compound is used all over the globe in agriculture. The agricultural community has developed crops that are glyphosate-resistant. Thus, farmers can spray their fields with large amounts of glyphosate to kill weed infestations without resultant damage to the valuable crops.
Use of glyphosate is not limited to commercial agriculture. Many people use Round-up to combat weed infestations in and around their homes. As a result of the widespread use of glyphosate, the general population can come in contact with the chemical because it may be found in the air after spraying, in our water supplies, and in our food supplies. The IARC considers the quantity of glyphosate into which most people come in contact to be very low.
After study, the IARC determined that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC determined the chemical must, therefore,be classified as a “2A” substance. A substance is classified as “2A” when studies show a correlation between contact with the compound and cancer. A “2A” designation means that there is some evidence of cancer-causing properties in the compound but other causes cannot be categorically ruled out as the cause of cancer. However, the studies reveal “strong data” of how the substance can be carcinogenic even if actual evidence of the correlation is limited.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) flip-flopped on the significance of the studies from the 1980s to the 2000s. According to the IARC, scientists observed “limited evidence of carcinogenicity for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” The EPA made its case after examining agricultural workers who came in contact with glyphosate and conducting experiments on laboratory mice. The EPA determined that glyphosate possibly caused cancer to humans after reviewing all of the evidence. The EPA issued that decision in 1985.
The EPA changed its tune in 2001. The EPA, for reasons that the IARC did not discuss, re-evaluated the experiments conducted on the mice. After re-evaluating the evidence, the EPA changed its classification to Group E or non-carcinogenic to humans.
The IARC used the EPA studies and results from additional experiments to form a different conclusion. After athorough review, the IARC found that evidence did exist to connect cancer to glyphosate. Also, the latest examinations reveal that a persons DNA and chromosomes change after coming in contact with the chemical.
Monsanto has not accepted the IARC’s conclusions. Indeed, the U.S. Congress entered the fray by claiming that the IARC altered its findings. The IARC denied any alteration and explained its review process. The IARC adamantly denied that any of its affiliated researchers have any bias or prejudice and remain neutral.
The state of California added glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing agentson the basis of the IARC conclusion. Consequently, Monsanto might need to disclose this to the public on its labeling.Monsanto continues to deny that glyphosate is dangerous and cites to studies that were sponsored by industry insiders that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic.
The lid might come off of that defense. In litigation currently pending in San Francisco, plaintiffs alleging that they got cancer from glyphosate learned through the discovery process that Monsanto’s employees might be responsible for the conclusions drawn from the experiments the company sites as evidence glyphosate is non-carcinogenic. The judge overseeing the case permitted the release of documents which reveal that Monsanto’s employees contacted the EPA in an attempt to influence the agency’s determination of whether glyphosate should be considered carcinogenic. There is also evidence to suggest that a senior EPA official tried to quash the results of a study that ran counter to Monsanto’s claims.
Monsanto also denies that its employees influenced the content of the studies it cited to support its position. However, Monsanto funded the study. Therefore, the inherent bias in the results cannot be easily overlooked even if Monsanto employees had nothing to do with drafting the study’s conclusions. But, documents obtained during the litigation show that Monsanto insiders tried to influence the outcome of the studies by selecting the people who were to be involved in the studies. Moreover, emails and documents exchanged between the EPA and Monsanto describe a concerted effort on behalf of Monsanto to influence the agency’s decision.Documents like those are incriminating and nearly impossible to walk away from, despite Monsanto’s argument to the contrary.
Monsanto might have a legitimate argument. Some governmentally-backed environmental agencies do not agree with the IARC. Their opinions are not unanimous and might also be subject to scrutiny for bias and prejudice toward Monsanto.
Monsanto is an agricultural giant. In 2016, it sold more than $14 billion worth of goods. Monsanto showed an income on its annual report of more than $2 billion. These two sums demonstrate the enormous amount of power and influence Monsanto enjoys in the marketplace. It also shows that it has the money to hire lobbying firms to convince federal and state agencies, as well as legislators, to see things their way.
Monsanto’s influence goes far beyond the halls of Congress and reaches the very food we put on our tables. Monsanto boasts that it has genetically modified the seeds farmers use to plant their crops to make them resistant to Round-up. Monsanto claims that it is merely trying to give us, the consuming public, and healthier food. The evidence suggests something entirely different.
What Damages Might Be Paid Through Litigation?
Monsanto could settle the claims currently pending in court. The amounts each person would receive will differ depending on the individual’s unique situation. Typically, a court may award damages for medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of economic opportunity, anticipated future expenditures, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering related to the physical pain the person suffered as well as the mental anguish caused by the lifestyle change a person ensured because of the harm the chemicals have done to them.
Help When You Need It Most
Call Parker Waichman LLP to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights if you or someone you love was sickened by Roundup. You can fill out our online form if it is more convenient than calling. Time is of the essence. Therefore, you must call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) and speak with one of our experienced product liability attorneys about your rights.