Roundup® Weed Killer & Cancer

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide discovered in 1970 by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz. Since 1974, Monsanto has marketed glyphosate for agricultural use under the trade name Roundup®. Glyphosate, or Roundup®, kills weeds and grasses that are harmful to crops, lawns and gardens. Roundup® is used in commercial and residential applications and can be found in over 160 countries. From 1974 to 2000, Monsanto was the sole manufacturer of glyphosate-based herbicides. Monsanto’s United States patent on glyphosate expired in 2000, which allowed other companies to manufacture and market glyphosate products. In 2007, Roundup® was the most used herbicide in United States commercial agriculture.

United States farmers quickly adopted Roundup® in order to kill or control weeds and grasses. When Monsanto introduced its glyphosate-resistant Roundup® Ready crops, Roundup® gained even more popularity. Roundup® Ready crops are genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which allows farmers to spray Roundup® everywhere without destroying crops. Roundup® Ready crops currently include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sorghum and cotton. Roundup® Ready crops produce over 270 million pounds of food and animal feed each year.

Over the last few years, hundreds of individuals have filed lawsuits against Monsanto claiming that Roundup’s® active ingredient, glyphosate, gave them cancer. Though expert opinions differ, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted a 2015 assessment of glyphosate and labeled it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” IRAC categorized glyphosate as an agent with limited evidence as a carcinogen in humans, but recognized a positive link between glyphosate and cancer. In 2017, the State of California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer under Proposition 65.

Roundup® use has become widespread since its initial introduction to the agricultural market in 1974.  Individuals who worked on or near farms where Roundup® use was widespread are at an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. Farmers, agricultural workers, gardeners, arborists, landscapers and even residential home owners are at risk.

Despite IRAC’s 2015 assessment that Roundup® is carcinogenic to humans, Monsanto still maintains that Roundup® and glyphosate do not pose health hazards to humans. However, a recent lawsuit has led to the discovery that Monsanto may not be telling the full story with regard to Roundup’s® safety.

On August 10, 2018, a California jury ruled that Monsanto’s Roundup® contributed to a school caretaker’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff ordering Bayer, parent company of Monsanto, to pay $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages.  For decades Monsanto has denied links between its glyphosate and cancer.

Roundup® exposure can occur through inhalation or direct skin contact, including getting the product in your eyes or touching plants that are still wet with spray.  Roundup® exposure has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), b-cell lymphoma, leukemia and other cancers. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another cancer and you have a history of using Roundup®, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.