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Roundup: What is it and Why is it So Dangerous?

What is Roundup?

Roundup is a popular herbicide produced by the company Monsanto. Monsanto is a multi-billion dollar agricultural company that has been a major producer of genetically engineered crops for decades. The purpose of Roundup is to keep weeds out to allow the desired crops to grow. The chemicals in Roundup however, has been a topic of major controversy globally.

The active ingredient of Roundup is glyphosate, a molecule created by Monsanto in 1973 and was trademarked by Monsanto until the early 2000s. Nowadays, since that patent has expired, there are many weed killers that act similar to Roundup, using glyphosate as the main active ingredient. Monsanto has even made “Roundup Ready Crops®”, which are genetically engineered plants that can withstand glyphosate and Roundup. This allows farmers to spread Roundup in bulk without having to worry about crops dying with the weeds.

As of 2009, Monsanto was the world’s lead producer of seeds, making up 27 percent of the world seed market. In 2010, an estimated 70 percent of corn and cotton and 90 percent of soybeans in the United Stated were “Roundup Ready®” crops.

The Problem

The glyphosate substance used in these products has undergone controversy over the years. While some believe the evidence is inconclusive to directly link glyphosate as cancer-causing, other organizations have linked non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to this man-made substance.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had conducted many case controls of occupational exposure of farmers and tree nursery workers to determine if the widely used weed killer had any longterm effects on their overall health. After various studies on the effects glyphosate exposure has on humans, the IARC has concluded that the nature of glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Because of these findings, glyphosate products like Roundup are permanently banned in France. To this day however, Monsanto denies that exposure to Roundup causes any health consequences.

Legal Issues

In June 2018, German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG bought out Monsanto for $63 billion. In the ten months following, Bayer AG has accumulated 11,200 lawsuits filed against them, with most of them relating to the hazards of Roundup use.

Because of their denial to disclose the potential risks of the herbicide, Bayer’s has lost many cases due to not warning consumers of the dangers of the product. Most notably was a case in August 2018 by a man named DeWayne Johnson, who sued Monsanto for the cause of his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Johnson regularly used two of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based products in his work as a groundskeeper. Since the IARC classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic, the jury addressed the question of whether Monsanto knowingly failed to warn consumers that Roundup could be harmful. Ultimately, Johnson was awarded $289 million for his damages.

In March of this year, another lawsuit earned a man a $26 million settlement claiming that Roundup was a substantial factor in his cancer. It was determined that Monsanto showed “a lack of concern about the risk that its product might be carcinogenic.” As a result, Costco discontinued their sales of Roundup.

The Takeaway

There have been thousands of personal injury lawsuits targeting the safety issues associated with Roundup, causing Bayer to pay billions for their negligence. Therefore, if you know of someone who has used Roundup or other glyphosate-based products and has developed a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bayer (Monsanto) could be to blame. We recommend consulting with a lawyer to investigate compensation. At Palermo Law, we represent individuals who have suffered from another’s negligence and have decades of experience dealing with multi-billion dollar companies. If you or a loved one believes that Roundup has harmed you, give us a call for a free consultation.

About the Author

Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.

His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.