Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, was declared by California to be a carcinogen in 2017. A carcinogen is anything that causes cancer. After this determination, the state required that Roundup products carry a carcinogen warning label. Monsanto, the company which makes Roundup, sued over these labels. A federal judge temporarily blocked the warning in an ongoing lawsuit.
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is siding with Monsanto over the dispute. On August 7, the EPA issued new guidance that singled out California’s carcinogen warning requirement. These warning labels, the EPA argued, would “constitute a false and misleading statement.” As a result, the agency refused to approve them for use. Following this decision, the EPA directed California to submit revised warning language within 90 days.
The EPA directive is viewed as a win for Monsanto in its ongoing battle with the state of California. Several juries have dealt substantial losses to the corporate giant. In one high-profile decision, a jury in May awarded over $2 billion to a couple who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The award came after the couple had been exposed to Roundup for years.
California and the EPA are at odds over the science involving glyphosate. The EPA argues that its findings show that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. But California’s warning label requirements are based on a 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report. The IARC concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Acting under a consumer right to know law called Proposition 65, California ordered the glyphosate warning label on Roundup products.
Roundup is a popular and well-known weed killer. But the connection between it and cancer has slowly begun to pick up publicity. The 2015 IARC report was based on peer-reviewed, publicly available research. This contrasts with what some have identified as biased research from Monsanto scientists showing that glyphosate is safe. And plaintiffs continue pressing their cases in court. Lawsuits allege that Monsanto knew about the risks associated with Roundup for decades but sold it anyway.
Roundup has seized a dominant market share due to extensive use by landscapers, farmers, and homeowners. This, naturally, has benefited Monsanto handsomely. But it has come at a cost to those using the herbicide. Roundup’s popularity means potentially thousands of people have been exposed to dangerous levels of what is likely a carcinogen. Glyphosate has been linked to various kinds of cancers, including:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Breast cancer
- B-cell lymphoma
- Rare types of cancer
Other health problem have also been connected to glyphosate, such as:
- Celiac disease
- Birth defects
- Skin, eye, and respiratory system irritation
- Hormone problems
- Death of human embryonic cells
Numerous crops, such as soybeans, corn, and cotton, have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate. This has allowed indiscriminate use of Roundup, in significant quantities, which kills weeds but not the crops.
In spite of the EPA’s directive, plaintiffs will continue to seek relief in the courts. Lawsuits alleging injury from glyphosate and Roundup are being filed across the United States. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you developed health problems after long-term exposure to Roundup. Depending on your situation, compensation could include:
- Medical costs, both past and present
- Costs for future medical treatment
- Physical injuries
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Damages from inability to return to work
Seek immediate medical attention for any health problems you are experiencing. Then, you should start to document your injuries as much as you can. Medical records will help build your case, as will evidence of other losses such as time missed from work. A mass tort attorney in your area can help you take the next steps.
DON’T DELAY LEGAL ACTION
Statutes of limitation apply in cases involving product injury, such as the Roundup lawsuits. These prevent lawsuits from being filed if you wait too long. If you’ve been injured, don’t delay speaking to an attorney about your claim.