Monsanto’s Roundup® is currently the largest-selling and most widely used herbicide in the world. It is used in both agricultural and residential settings as a weed killer. However, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been classified by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen. Therefore, millions of people who have used Roundup are at risk for developing cancers, including non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Who is At Risk for Roundup Exposure?
The individuals most at risk for developing cancer from the use of Monsanto’s Roundup are:
- Farm workers
- Garden center employees
- Nursery employees
People who have used Monsanto’s Roundup on residential gardening projects frequently over a period of years may also be at risk of developing cancer. Individuals are exposed to glyphosate from inhalation while spraying, mixing, or cleanup, and may also be exposed through direct skin contact with Roundup.
About Roundup Exposure
Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology company based in St. Louis, Missouri. From 1974 until the expiration of its patent in 2000, Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer was the only glyphosate-based herbicide sold in the United States. Monsanto consistently marketed its product as safe to humans, and still maintains today that its product does not pose a health hazard. Monsanto has never warned users that Roundup® could be dangerous to their health.
Behind the scenes, Monsanto created fake data and engaged in a campaign of misinformation to combat claims that Roundup® is dangerous. In fact, documents emerged in recent litigation that demonstrate Monsanto colluded with the EPA to refute the connection between Roundup® and cancer. Even in the face of mounting scientific evidence to the contrary, Monsanto continues to vigorously deny that Roundup® can cause cancer to users.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup®, glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen to humans.” IARC made this classification after years of thorough and exhaustive research and analysis, after examining peer-reviewed studies in scientific literature and analyzing occupational exposure of farmers and tree nursery workers around the world. This evidence, untainted by Monsanto’s campaign of misinformation, informed IARC’s decision to elevate glyphosate to “probable carcinogen” status.
Roundup Exposure Medical Implications
Exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup® has been linked to several serious forms of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently classified glyphosate, the active chemical in Roundup®, as a “probable carcinogen” to humans. The IARC specifically linked exposure to Roundup® with the development of the following diseases:
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Large Diffuse B-cell Lymphoma
- Follicular Lymphoma
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
Approximately 70,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year. Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include fever, night sweats, stomach pain, chest pain, and a loss of appetite. Monsanto knew Roundup® caused cancer for several decades, but hid those risks from consumers as sales grew exponentially in the United States and globally.
Ongoing Concerns about Roundup
Though individuals who worked directly with Roundup, such as those mentioned above, there are growing concerns about glyphosate elsewhere. In 2017, researchers began looking into the chemical's impact on expectant mothers and raised concerns about possible correlations between glyphosate and shorter pregnancies as well as lower birth weights.
Additionally, tests have revealed the presence of glyphosate in items such as honey, baby food, and oatmeal. There is still much controversy around Roundup as groups have been dissatisfied with the USDA's lack of testing of foods for glyphosate. Further, panels and testing that have found the chemical to be 'safe' and the lack of regulation has led to intense criticism and worry over long-term health effects for many.
Unfortunately, until there is clarity around the impacts of glyphosate and Roundup, and until there is regulation or consistent testing of the chemical, consumers will be in the dark about what they may be ingesting and what affect it might have.
Update July 2021: Bayer announced that it will stop selling glyphosate-based Roundup beginning in 2023, and will use "new formulations that rely on alternative active ingredients." However, this will only apply to consumer markets, and Bayer will continue using glyphosate in its agricultural and professional products.
This announcement does little to address the potential issues of both consumers and agricultural workers.
There are a number of past and current lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer (which bought out Monsanto in 2018). These cases stem from cancer diagnoses such as those listed above which were allegedly caused by Roundup exposure. Learn more about Roundup litigation here, including settlements, past, present, and future litigation, and the specific cases involving Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and more.
If you or a loved one has used Monsanto’s Roundup® and developed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or one of the other serious injuries listed above, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Please contact the experts at Chicago law firm Cooney & Conway and ask about your legal rights by calling us toll-free at 800-322-5573 or submitting a free case evaluation below.