A judge in California recently ruled that the state can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible carcinogen, even though Monsanto contends that the key ingredient, glyphosate, has a long history of safe use. The action by the State of California comes at a time when the giant seed and pesticide conglomerate faces dozens of lawsuits from Plaintiffs who allege the company misled the public about the risks of Roundup and thus compromised the health of workers.
The Plaintiffs claim that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). As we reported last month, unsealed court documents were just released suggesting studies attributed to academics were actually ghostwritten by Monsanto employees, and that U.S. regulators based their determination that glyphosate is not a cause of cancer on those studies.
Recently, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and activist, discussed these and other issues regarding Roundup with radio host Steve Curwood on Living on Earth. Kennedy offered his opinion on the inconsistent conclusions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Monsanto versus those of the International Association for Cancer Research (IARC) regarding the safety of glyphosate and Roundup.
There are two issues. One is that glyphosate alone is less toxic, we know, and glyphosate in the formulation of Roundup. There are surfactants and adjuvants in Roundup and particularly a class of surficants known as tallowamines. That makes glyphosate far more toxic than it is alone, in fact, there’s implications that it might be 10,000 times as toxic when combined with the tallowamines. The reason that the tallowamines make it more toxic is that they allow the glyphosate to penetrate human skin on contact in very, very high concentrations.
We also have studies by the premier, gold standard cancer research organization on Earth, which is the International Association for Cancer Research or IARC, which is an organization that is funded by 16 industrialized countries, and most nations, most European countries recognize, and countries all over the world, that nobody really had the resources to measure all of these chemicals that we’re now swimming around in for carcinogenicity, and we needed to have one centrally funded and adequately, abundantly funded organization and use the highest scientific standards and employ the best scientists on Earth, and that organization has determined that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.
Kennedy also voiced concern over the accuracy of a recent determination by the EPA that there is little risk for most Americans in the quantities they say they are usually exposed to. He had this to say:
It’s not accurate, and unfortunately what the documents that have been recently released by Judge Chhabria show is that there was a history of collusion between the EPA pesticide division which was helping Monsanto cover up the dangers of glyphosate and Roundup® as well. The head of the pesticide branch was a guy named Jess Rowland, who had this very disturbing relationship with Monsanto in which there are emails that show him going to bat for Monsanto. At one point, he tells…A conversation is described in the email in which Jess Rowland pledges to derail an investigation of glyphosate and Roundup by the HHS. We have permission to depose Jess Rowland. We’ve also deposed David Hayden, who is the Monsanto executive who was coordinating the cover up with the EPA. In answer to your question about whether EPA science is trustworthy, it’s not. And in fact, EPA had a long history of … That particular division is kind of a poster child for what we call “agency capture phenomenon,” where the regulatory agency becomes captured by the industry that it’s supposed to regulate.
John Tomlinson, a lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section, has filed cases involving Roundup exposure in both state and federal courts and he is currently investigating other potential cases. If you need more information on this subject contact John at 800-898-2034 or by email at John.Tomlinson@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Living on Earth –Public Radio International, April, 2017
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.