Glyphosate, anyone? Thanks, but no thanks; we’ll just stick with our regular weed killer if it’s all the same to you. Monsanto is in the news again (is it ever out of the news?) and this time it’s about an active ingredient that they manufacture that is used in Roundup, their popular weed killer formula. Apparently, it’s pretty effective in that it has killed billions of weeds over the years and could be well on its way to killing a great many human beings also.
Monsanto developed the pesticide in the 1970s and according to Newsweek Magazine (Sheridan 3/9/18) over 300 lawsuits have been filed by farmers who claim that Roundup gave them cancer. There are several thousand other pending lawsuits against Monsanto and its herbicide glyphosate and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California says that their lawsuit trials are set to begin in June of 2018.
If you have cancer and you feel it was caused by Monsanto’s Roundup, more specifically the herbicide glyphosate, you should call a Personal Injury Attorney right away. If it is proven that Monsanto was at fault you could be compensated for medical costs, both current and in potential future costs. You could also receive payments for missing work, emotional distress and possibly punitive payments.
Glyphosate targets certain grasses, weeds and plants that interfere with agriculture, ornamental gardening and plantings such as lawns, etc. Roundup was conceived for use by small farms and homes but ultimately came in to wide use in the 1990s. The reason for its popularity and nationwide saturation was because GMOs (Genetically Modified organisms) and their seeds became inured the whole to glyphosate and therefore farmers could spray the whole field without worrying about effecting crops negatively.
There have been many studies on glyphosate and the results have been contradictory in many cases. Monsanto’s studies of the herbicide, not surprisingly, found no cancer risk from being exposed to it. On the other hand, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), which works under the umbrella of the World Health Organization (WHO) came to the conclusion that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This opinion formed a very positive and obvious link between cancer and glyphosate, which Monsanto is desperately trying to disprove.
Consumer Safety Magazine showed that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in 1995 said that glyphosate should definitely be characterized as a probable carcinogen to humans and then recently changed its stance and said that it isn’t a carcinogen at all and has very little toxicity to humans. In 2017, the EPA went a step further and back tracked and claimed that glyphosate poses no toxicity threat to animals or birds but will make their ultimate decision on the herbicide in 2019. Sri Lanka and Mexico have outright banned the use of Roundup with glyphosate in it. Other countries are considering a ban as they observe the effects of the herbicide on farmers and gardeners.
There are two types of cancer associated with Monsanto’s Roundup are NHL (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and MM (Multiple Myeloma. Even though Monsanto’s study on glyphosate resulted in conclusions that there was “limited evidence” of a causal relationship between Roundup and cancer, as we mentioned above, IARC still classified the herbicide as a carcinogenic because studies of mice and rats exposed a possible link between glyphosate and cancerous tumors. Also, their studies on the effects of glyphosate on DNA indicated “mechanistic evidence” that the herbicide can indeed injure human DNA after exposure.
The IARC has not backed down on their labeling of glyphosate as a carcinogen even though several other studies have suggested there is no toxicity at all. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has gone on to label glyphosate as a “known carcinogen’ basically following IARC’s lead in the matter. Even though there is disagreement on the danger of glyphosate to humans, lawsuits continue to be filed in courts around the country and Monsanto could still be held liable for damages. Your Personal Injury Attorney will tell you if he or she feels you have a strong case or not.
Monsanto’s Roundup, whether it is cancer causing or not, is still a dangerous chemical and should not be handled carelessly. Glyphosate has proven itself to be dangerous to humans and can create severe side effects. The least of these effects is simple skin irritation. That is known as photocontact dermatitis. This just means that glyphosate came into to contact with uncovered skin at some point while using it on plants and weeds, etc. This, of course, implies that your skin should always be covered when using this dangerous chemical. The use of gloves and long sleeved shirts and pants is also recommended for optimal safety. If you do come into contact with roundup on your bare skin it is best to immediately wash the area with soap and water and then if it becomes irritated go to a medical professional and call a Personal injury Attorney for advice.
Contact with the skin is not a good thing at all. If you are spraying the herbicide that means that it is air born and can get in your mouth, nose and eyes, which can be even more severe than simple contact with your skin. If, for some reason you were to swallow Roundup, you are going to suffer damaging burns to your throat, mouth and esophagus. These are going to be painful and perhaps long-term injuries but there is even more damage to come if you ingest this chemical cocktail. You could damage your liver irreversibly and that could also cause long-term suffering and pain and even death. Several deaths have been reported only a few hours after ingesting just a small measure of the herbicide. There is really no need to be drinking any product like Roundup or any other type of weed killer or poisonous chemical. Protect yourself at all times by wearing a particle mask or a filtered breathing device that covers the mouth and nose and always wear gloves, long sleeved shit and full length pants when using any kind of chemical that has the power to kill plants and weeds and even humans. If you should swallow Roundup call your doctor immediately or rush yourself to an emergency room for quick treatment. Then call your Personal Injury Attorney and he’ll take care of the rest.
The magazine U.S. News reported in March of 2018 that a federal judge in San Francisco is investigating whether Monsanto’s Roundup is indeed cancer causing. The judge is presiding over 300 lawsuits against Monsanto that claim the chemical glyphosate in Roundup has caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. The victims and their families also claim that Monsanto knew about the cancer risk of using Roundup but did not tell them about it.
One of the first witnesses against Monsanto was a University of California, Los Angeles epidemiologist, Beate Ritz. She testified that “there is a higher risk of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for people exposed to glyphosate-based formulations.”
One of the plaintiffs suing Monsanto, Christine Sheppard, sprayed Roundup on her Hawaii coffee farm for years. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003 and was not expected to live for more than six months. Although she is in remission, she still lives with great pain in her legs and has a weak immune system. She went through years of medical treatments, which cost enormous sums of money, time and side effects that were not pleasant. She is always surprised when she walks into a hardware store like Home Depot and sees Roundup on the shelf advertised as the best weed killer available.
Another victim, Jack McCall, grew avocados with his wife Teri on their 22-acre farm in California. They also used the weed killer Roundup regularly and frequently. They felt it was the safest chemical out there for getting rid of weeds so they didn’t use any other herbicide. The family dog died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and then five years later jack came down with the same disease. The McCall family blames Monsanto for telling them that Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate were not toxic and were not health risks.
After Jack’s death, Teri became an outspoken activist against the use of Roundup. She even traveled to Brussels to tell her and Jack’s story to the EU in hopes of having them ban glyphosate and Roundup from use in Europe. The European Commission was working on the renewal of licensing of Monsanto’s glyphosate for another ten years. The European Farmers Union supports the position of renewing the license because “A ban on glyphosate threatens the EU’s agricultural competitiveness and food security” (dw.com 2018).
Brent Wisner, the lawyer who represents Teri McCall and 500 other people who claim their cancer was caused by glyphosate, says Monsanto is acting exactly like the tobacco companies did years ago. “Forty years ago we were seeing studies that smoking tobacco was good for you. Big Tobacco did that for years, they fought scientists. Monsanto has taken that playbook right from the tobacco industry, both in the context of manipulating science but also in the context of litigation,” Wisner said (dw.com 2018).
Barth Staes of the Belgian Green party also feels that Monsanto is not necessarily being truthful about the chemicals it produces. “In fact Monsanto organized the whole scientific evidence in such a way that there was a real manipulation of facts. They have rewritten scientific reports citing authors who didn’t write the reports themselves, that were in fact written by Monsanto people” (dw.com 2018).
Teri McCall is simply asking the EU to postpone the licensing decision of glyphosate until further testing can be done. “Is it worth your life — or the lives of your family members?” McCall asked (dw.com 2018). The EU voted to limit glyphosate’s license for a period of five years instead of ten, and some European nations have decided to end its use within three years.
How to tell if your cancer was caused by Monsanto’s Roundup
The first thing you should do is hire a Personal Injury Attorney. He or she will be able to ask you the right questions and form an opinion of whether or not you may have a case against Monsanto. If he says that he will take on your case, then all signs point to your cancer being caused by Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate. He will want to know how often you sued Roundup.
• Was it every month, every week, every day?
• How were you dressed when you did use the herbicide? Were you covered head to toe, including your hands, face, nose and mouth?
• Did you spray Roundup?
• Did your skin ever come into contact with Roundup and what did you do id it did?
• Were you an agricultural worker or landscaper or professional gardener?
• How many years did you use Roundup?
He will certainly ask you more questions than these but you get the idea and you can see where this is going. It is about frequency of use and did it ever come into contact with your skin or did you breathe it in. These basic questions you can ask yourself before you get to your Personal Injury Attorney’s office. Once he finishes with your initial interview he will know how to proceed. If he believes that Roundup was to blame for your cancer he will get his investigators and experts examine your claim and give their professional assessment on how the cancer could have been caused by glyphosate. This, of course, will help win your case and get you the compensation you deserve – for missed work, medical costs and emotional damages, etc.
Apparently, following all the safety procedures written by Monsanto on one of Monsanto’s products may not be the right thing to do. Lee Johnson of Vallejo, California, was a groundskeeper for a school district. Every time he sprayed Monsanto’s Roundup he followed the instructions on the label to a tee. After two years of spraying that glyphosate filled herbicide he came down with a rash and that small rash ultimately became non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the doctor gave him six months to live. He will leave behind a wife and two kids.
Johnson is one of several thousand cases filed against Monsanto claiming their cancers were caused by using Roundup, Monsanto’s popular weed killer. His lawyer, Timothy Litzenburg says that, “About half of [our firm’s] cases are from people who sprayed Roundup for school districts or parks, while the others are from people who sprayed it around their homes” (Pam Strayer April 4, 2018 PRI.Org).
Another law firm representing around 600 plaintiffs, described their clients as consisting of roughly 60 percent residential glyphosate users, 10 percent school and park groundskeepers, and 30 percent orchard owners and farmers.
The plaintiffs could get billions of dollars in settlements from Monsanto, which could wash out any profit the large conglomerate might make on the expected $2.8 billion in sales of Round up this year. The risks are high for Monsanto because what’s at stake is one of their big sellers. If the plaintiffs win big, then glyphosate, the active ingredient and the cancer-causing villain in Roundup could be shut down and taken off of all retail shelves.
Lee Johnson’s case is the first one on the docket in a San Francisco courtroom scheduled to hear opening statements in June 2018. These court cases will be emotional but also they will appear to be scientific, even though Monsanto already has the reputation of creating its own results in glyphosate testing.
One of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses who testified in pre-trial Daubert hearings was Dr. Charles William Jameson, an animal toxicology expert retired from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. He concluded that “It is my opinion that exposure to glyphosate not only can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma [in humans], but it is currently doing so, at current exposure levels today” (Pam Strayer April 4, 2018 PRI.Org). Daubert hearings allow plaintiffs and defense to present science, along with scientists and studies that support their argument.
Dr. Chadi Nabhan, was another expert plaintiff witness. He is an oncologist and medical director for Cardinal Health in Chicago. He said, “I firmly believe in the conclusions of the IARC, and that actually makes a huge difference for us as clinicians,” Nabhan said, adding that he tells his patients not to use Roundup and glyphosate. “These are modifiable risk factors” (Pam Strayer April 4, 2018 PRI.Org).
IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), declared glyphosate to be a carcinogen.
Monsanto’s experts put forth their studies and their conflicting results for the court and the judge to decide upon. Judge Chhabria was in a difficult position. He had a lot of research to do and a lot of testimony to look over. At one point he demonstrated his mixed feelings about both sides when he said, “I have a difficult time understanding how an epidemiologist could conclude … that glyphosate is in fact causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma in human beings…. But I also question whether anyone could legitimately conclude that glyphosate is not causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma in human beings” (Pam Strayer April 4, 2018 PRI.Org).
The judge explained his part in the mammoth lawsuit undertaking: “My role is to decide whether the opinions offered by the plaintiffs’ experts are within the range of reasonableness,” Chhabria said. “And the courts tell us that even a shaky opinion can be admissible because … that expert will then be subject to cross-examination. And the jury will get to hear all of the evidence, and decide who’s right and who’s wrong” (Pam Strayer April 4, 2018 PRI.Org).
Another surprise came up that Michael Baum, the lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, pointed out: that the Monsanto Papers—emails and internal memos received from Monsanto as part of the discovery process of these trials, and which revealed the company’s efforts to discredit IARC and mainstream science—had already made waves elsewhere in the world.
“It’s like the Wizard of Oz,” Baum said. “When you pull back the curtain, and when we sent all this evidence to EU decision makers, regulators, and legislators, they started seeing they’ve been fooled. Decision makers are starting to make different decisions.”
“Countries like France and Italy and Austria are saying … ‘we’re not waiting three to five years, we’re moving as soon as there is a viable alternative,’” Baum added.
According to Bloomberg.com, “Every year, farmers spray, on average, almost a pound of the herbicide glyphosate on every acre of cropland in the U.S., and nearly half a pound on every acre of cropland worldwide” (Waldman/Mulvaney July 13, 2017 Bloomberg.com). Well, that’s not very reassuring, is it? Here’s another tidbit of interesting information: Monsanto “reengineered the DNA of corn, soybeans, and other crops for the primary purpose of making them resistant to Roundup.
Farmers spray the chemical on crops grown from Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds. The weeds die, harvests expand, and expensive, laborious tillage is no longer necessary. Large-scale agriculture is built on this model, and not only in the U.S., which is why Bayer AG the German drug and chemical company, agreed in September to buy Monsanto for $66 billion, pending regulatory approvals. Other than government antitrust objections, about the only thing that could mess up the purchase would be for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse its position on the active ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate” (Waldman/Mulvaney July 13, 2017 Bloomberg.com).
And as we have already mentioned above, the EPA has backtracked somewhat in saying that glyphosate is not toxic to humans so perhaps the deal will go through. But it is interesting when you consider that Monsanto invented the pesticide Roundup and the deadly chemical glyphosate and then in order to create more sales, massive sales, world-wide massive sales, re-engineered corn and soy seeds among others so that farmers could use the pesticide more freely – and purchase even more. Well, if you have used Roundup and you have cancer, call your Personal Injury Attorney immediately.
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