In previous issues of the Report we have mentioned new studies concerning the toxicity of glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup formulation. For decades, Monsanto has attempted to dominate the science concerning the safety of glyphosate and its herbicide Roundup by hiring legions of scientists to generate self-serving studies. Over the past few years, however, independent scientists and researchers have found a strong link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
While the glyphosate studies are considered new studies, the findings are actually supported by a long line of studies that link glyphosate exposure to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto has not gone quietly into the night, as the company (and scientists cozy to big Agriculture industry) has quickly mobilized and is now trying to pump out new studies that demonstrate glyphosate is safe. Monsanto has even sued the State of California because the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment stated its intent to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen as the International Agency for Research on Cancery (IARC) has done.
To put things in perspective, IARC happens to be the leading independent cancer research organization in the world, and Monsanto is suing a state for merely trying to inform its citizens about the safety of products.
While much of the attention has focused on glyphosate, new studies are also shedding light on how toxic other Roundup co-formulants are. Roundup products contain both a publicly declared active ingredient (glyphosate) and confidential co-formulants designed to increase the effectiveness of the product. Monsanto claims these co-formulants are inert agreements (i.e., chemically inactive), but the company has refused to publicly identify the ingredients because Monsanto considers them trade secret compounds.
A recent study sought to test the cellular endocrine disrupting effects of co-formulants in glyphosate-based herbicides below what were thought to be toxic levels. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse, developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans.
To determine the identity of the co-formulants, scientists must reverse-engineer the formulation. The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, concluded that co-formulants act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals at levels up to several hundred times below the level at which the declared active ingredient glyphosate demonstrates the same activity. This study further demonstrates that endocrine disruption by glyphosate-based herbicides could not only be due to the declared active ingredients, but also co-formulants.
This research adds to the growing literature concerning the toxicity of both glyphosate and Roundup co-formulants. In the face of independent, peer-reviewed research, Monsanto has defiantly refused to warn about the carcinogenic risks of its products. Instead, the company’s response has been to sue states that seek to protect their citizens, and try to undercut any suggestion that their products could be unsafe.
Considering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates herbicides through a more cooperative regulatory framework, whereby the company has substantial input on what is considered when determining the hazard classification and overall regulation of the product in question, these independent findings are very concerning. If Monsanto has withheld information regarding glyphosate’s toxicity, I cannot imagine what they could be hiding about these unknown co-formulants. It is no surprise the number of Roundup exposure cases filed against Monsanto continues to increase as consumers learn more about these products.
Lawyers in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section are investigating Roundup exposure cases where farmers, nursery workers, landscapers or residents used large amounts of roundup and developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you need more information, please contact Parker Miller, who is leading our investigation of these cases, and Ryan Kral, another lawyer working on these cases, at 800-898-2034. You may also contact them by email at Parker.Miller@BeasleyAllen.com or Ryan Kral Ryan.Kral@BeasleyAllen.com for further information regarding these cases.
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