Across the country, a strong case is building against Monsanto that Roundup causes cancer. Studies are linking use of the product to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or “NHL.” The herbicide glyphosate is the key component in the Roundup formulation that has been widely used since it was introduced in 1974. Overall, glyphosate comprises 30 percent of the herbicide market and accounted for approximately $7.8 billion in sales globally in 2014.
Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designated glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans with the most likely linked cancer being NHL. It should be noted that NHL is a broad classification of malignancies that include multiple subtypes with varied characteristics and possibly diverse etiologies. As a result, further studies are currently being conducted to identify which specific subtypes of NHL are linked with exposure to glyphosate. Thus far, the strongest association proven has been with B cell lymphomas. We expect additional studies to shed much-needed light on the full range of NHL-related diseases linked to glyphosate.
Roundup remains the primary revenue generator for Monsanto’s agricultural productivity division, accounting for 32 percent of its revenue in 2015. Thus, we expect Monsanto to vigorously defend the increasing number of lawsuits being filed as more information is revealed about glyphosate’s harmful effects. As expected, Monsanto urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to publicly denounce the IARC report. It is also pursuing legal action against the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to prevent the agency from adding glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals. The May issue of the Report detailed additional instances of Monsanto’s meddling with studies and false advertising regarding glyphosate’s effects.
As Monsanto seeks to discredit reports and stands by its claim that Roundup is harmless, the federal government will offer some much needed clarity when it completes its review of glyphosate. In February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would begin testing for glyphosate residue in food. Also, the EPA plans to release a draft of its decision regarding glyphosate’s toxicity later this year. These reports will be instrumental in revealing glyphosate’s widespread effect on the agricultural industry and on all Americans who consume its bounty.
Our Toxic Torts Section is actively investigating Roundup exposure cases. If you need more information about this subject, contact Parker Miller or Ryan Kral, lawyers in the Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Parker.Miller@beasleyallen.com or Ryan.Kral@beasleyallen.com, and they will be glad to speak with you.
Source: Bloomberg News; International Agency for Research on Cancer
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