California is a state with an established reputation for being concerned with the risks of carcinogens and dangerous chemicals. That may be the reasoning behind the recent RoundUp ban on county property that was published by NBC Los Angeles Channel 4 last Wednesday morning.
The RoundUp Ban Motive
The RoundUp ban was put forth based on the risks associated with one of the key components of RoundUp: glyphosate. RoundUp has been in use since the early 1970s according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, their studies have found that glyphosate has a “low” toxicity to humans.
In a December 2017 press release, the EPA stated that is was “not likely carcinogenic” (cancer-causing). Despite this, the EPA also features warnings that agriculture fields should not be occupied by people for 12 hours following distribution of herbicides or pesticides containing glyphosate.
For more information about RoundUp and glyphosate, see Parker Waichman’s coverage of trial lawyers for RoundUp here.
The Research Behind The RoundUp Ban
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, co-author of the RoundUp ban cited a 2015 study conducted by 17 experts from 11 countries on behalf of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer. This study has concluded that glyphosate should be classified as probably carcinogenic to humans.
The EPA and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) don’t agree with the WHO, citing a 2017 study by the U.S. National Agricultural Survey. Despite this, the EFSA is being pressured to release their own study results.
Public Reaction To The RoundUp Ban
Monsanto co., creators of RoundUp, and Bayer, who owns Monsanto, have not currently released a statement but they have made previous statements in support of RoundUp and glyphosate-based herbicides.
Despite that support, Monsanto has not always seen judicial support in their defense of their products. A federal lawsuit brought against Bayer by a man from Sonoma, California, on March 19, 2019, only a single day before the RoundUp ban passed, concluded that his non-Hodgkins lymphoma was caused by exposure to RoundUp. Though this was only an initial verdict from the jury to move forward with legal motions against Bayer, this was also the second San Francisco jury verdict to find that RoundUp caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people.
This case and others may have been motivation for the RoundUp ban on county property. During the March 19, case Monsanto representatives are quoted as having stated “We continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer . . . We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable.”
Responding To The RoundUp Ban
While science and time will tell whether RoundUp is “not likely carcinogenic” or “probably carcinogenic,” for now people are being caught up in the middle. Juries have been shown to be on the side of the people so there may be no better time to move forward than now. If you or a loved one have suffered medical complications or wrongful death as a result of exposure to harsh chemicals in products such as RoundUp, Parker Waichman LLP is here to help. At Parker Waichman LLP there are experienced trial lawyers who have the means and experience to bring companies like Bayer and Monsanto to justice. Contact Parker Waichman for a free consultation and begin the path to the compensation you deserve today.
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