Family homesteads that grow food for local communities, corporate food production farms, and even urban gardens have all potentially experienced exposure to a dangerous carcinogen: glyphosate. The key ingredient in Roundup, this toxin’s effect is exacerbated when in combination with other chemicals found in the weed killer. In other words, people who have worked on farms or in backyard gardens may be at risk to develop cancer after Roundup comes into contact with the skin or eyes, or after breathing in the spray. Immediate symptoms could include increased salivation, burns in the throat or mouth, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. Long-term exposure has been connected to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Scientific studies indicate elevated risks for pregnant mothers and possibly for children, as well.
Additionally, food contamination and other serious consequences related to this toxin causes genuine concern. That news is disturbing enough. Add to that the fact that the dangers of glyphosate poisoning may have been well known by scientists and marketers for years, and the issue becomes outrageous. If negligent or misleading actions by Roundup’s creators have led to serious illness, legal action may be the only recourse.
The Toxin Found in Roundup Weed Killers
Glyphosate is an herbicide produced by Monsanto and widely used in the food production industry in a product known as Roundup Ready. Home gardeners also use Roundup to control weeds in their gardens. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified this chemical as probably carcinogenic to humans based on animal experiments combined with real-world exposures and cancer development in humans. This is a significant problem in the United States, since Monsanto’s Roundup products are used in 80 percent of American farms that produce soybean, cotton, and corn.
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Monsanto Knew of the Dangers
Although Monsanto denies that their product causes cancer, there is evidence to the contrary, and it seems that Monsanto executives have know it causes cancer for quite some time. There are indications that Monsanto manipulated data produced by their own health-effects research, attempting to manage the reaction to potentially damaging study results. The company took a page from tobacco company strategies, channeling money to front groups who published articles extolling the benefits of their product and attacking organizations that sought stronger regulations.
Monsanto is also accused of creating a program called Let Nothing Go, wherein they paid people who had no ties to the industry to post comments online defending the company and the chemicals in its products. Although Monsanto refutes this accusation, there is no denying that they have spent $60 million lobbying congress, visiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and developing relationships with the powers that be. When the EPA came out with preliminary conclusions questioning the toxicity of Roundup, the Inspector General revealed there was an investigation to determine whether or not Monsanto and high-level EPA officials had colluded to produce positive outcomes. Email and other evidence points to this as a serious possibility.
As far back as 1984, Monsanto research produced results indicative of cancer in conjunction with Roundup. Rather than act to promote safety, Monsanto fought the conclusions of it’s own scientists, and eventually produced a panel of experts who deemed the previous results statistically insignificant.
Then in 1999, Monsanto provided their research data to a genetic toxicologist named James Parry, expecting him to verify that their product was safe. Instead, Parry found, after an examination of Monsanto’s own data, that oxidative stress did, indeed, seem to connect the product to cancer. He suggested further study. Instead, company execs floundered through their options, ultimately deciding that trying to change Perry’s mind would be costly and likely not worth the effort. Emails also confirm the company’s stance that “Data generated by academics has always been a major concern…in the defense of our products.” They shelved Parry’s report, and proceeded as though it had never been written.
Although the EPA disputes evidence of a link to cancer, there are questions as to the integrity of research supplied by the agrochemical companies. Likewise, there appears to be disagreement among EPA scientists as to the dangers of glyphosate.
Exposure through Foods
Studies indicate that direct contact with Roundup products and other herbicides could create a cancer peril, putting farmworkers and backyard gardeners at risk. Beyond that, foods produced in conjunction with Roundup products have been found to contain high levels of glyphosate, meaning there is a potential for harm to consumers. Some of the foods that have been tested and that show alarming levels of this poison include:
- General Mills’ Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios;
- Kelloggs’ Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes, and Corn Flakes;
- PepsiCos’ Doritos and Cool Ranch Doritos;
- Ritz Crackers;
- Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips;
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers;
- Kashi Soft-Baked Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, and Chocolate Cookies;
- Lay’s Kettle Cooked and Original Chips;
- Frito-Lay Fritos;
- Nabisco’s Oreos and Double Stuffs;
- Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Crème;
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Golden Round Crackers.
Independent peer-reviewed scientific evidence indicates that the allowable daily intake (ADI) levels of glyphosate in this country should be reduced by at least 70 times the current allowable limits. Notably, there is no real safe level. Also worth mentioning is the fact that many of the herbicide formulations used in Roundup actually increase glyphosate’s toxicity.
Advocates across the country are coming to the aid of victims of Roundup. People who used Monsanto’s product for years at work or at home are showing up with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Victims of Monsanto’s dangerous products and their campaign to disguise the peril may find some level of satisfaction and financial compensation from seeking an answer to their health woes from the courts. Future settlements could potentially address a number of issues associated with exposure to Roundup:
- Medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of companionship in the event of a fatality;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental and emotional stress; and
- Punitive damages.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and you believe your health issues are related to exposure to Roundup, contact the experienced legal team at the Roger Ghai Law Offices. Our compassionate, yet aggressive attorneys will advocate for clients with diligence. Schedule a consultation today,