Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in human history, being sprayed on crops all around the world, including hundreds of thousands of gallons sprayed here in Alabama. Roundup and glyphosate are approved for use on food crops in the United States despite a recent verdict linking the weed killer to cancer as well as several medical studies that make a similar connection.
Agriculture is a huge industry in Alabama, representing more than $5 billion in sales per year. Cotton farming alone generates more than $100 million annually, and more than one-quarter of the glyphosate used on Alabama crops in 2016 was sprayed on cotton, according to federal data.
Glyphosate use overall in the U.S. has skyrocketed, and the increase in Alabama is even more extreme. With the fall 2018 verdict by a California jury that Roundup use caused a man to develop cancer, many people in Alabama are concerned about their possible exposure to glyphosate. These individuals and their families should be aware of the dangers of Roundup and glyphosate as well as their rights surrounding seeking legal relief.
Glyphosate Use in Alabama
In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, about 1.9 million gallons of glyphosate, including Roundup-brand weed killer, were sprayed on Alabama farm fields, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Despite that number representing a decline from the previous year, when about 2.3 million gallons were dumped, overall, glyphosate use has skyrocketed in Alabama and around the United States. Alabama alone saw a 2,500 percent increase in the use of glyphosate in farming between 1992 and 2016. Alabama’s increase was larger than the overall national increase of about 1,900 percent.
Which crops are most likely in Alabama to come in contact with glyphosate? Here’s a look at the percentage breakdown of glyphosate use in Alabama by crop in 2016:
- Corn: 24%
- Soybeans: 36%
- Cotton: 27%
- Wheat and other crops: 13%
Agriculture and forestry account for 1 out of every 4.6 jobs in Alabama, and the state is the second-leading producer of broiler poultry, the third-largest sod producer and the 10th-biggest cotton-producing state.
Cotton, which took more than a quarter of the glyphosate sprayed on crops in the state in 2016, is grown in 59 of the state’s 67 counties. Alabama has more than 43,000 farms that span some 8.9 million acres across the entire state.
While information exists on how much glyphosate is being used for agricultural purposes in Alabama, it’s much more difficult to determine how much is being used for other purposes, such as in parks, schools, sports fields and other public spaces, in addition to residential lawns.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Alabama clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Alabama Residents at Risk
Alabama residents who deal directly every day with Roundup, glyphosate and other harmful chemicals, such as farmers, agricultural workers, groundskeepers, professional gardeners and landscapers, are likely to have the most direct exposure to glyphosate.
But working directly with the chemical is not the only way to come in contact with it. While agricultural workers are likely to contact glyphosate by breathing it in or getting it on their skin, all Alabama consumers are at risk of glyphosate exposure through the food supply.
In fact, several rounds of testing have revealed glyphosate in foods like breakfast cereal, oatmeal, snack bars, granola and more. Before 2016, the Food and Drug Administration did not even have a way to test for glyphosate residue in the food supply, so it’s truly impossible to know how much glyphosate Alabama residents have been exposed to over the years.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Alabama
A jury just last year in California ruled that Roundup caused a groundskeeper’s terminal cancer. The jury awarded the man $289 million, though that amount was later reduced to $78 million.
Another Roundup cancer trial is underway in California, and Bayer AG, which now owns Monsanto (the company that invented Roundup), is facing thousands more roundup lawsuits. As of late February 2019, more than 9,000 Roundup cases have been filed. Alabama residents who believe their exposure to Roundup caused health problems may have grounds to pursue legal action against Bayer and Monsanto.
Alabama has set a two-year time limit for product liability lawsuits in the cases of death, personal injury or property damage. However, since many product liability claims, including those made in cases of Roundup and cancer, may take months or years to reveal themselves, state law provides one year from the date of discovery that a product is harmful for cases to be brought.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
Roundup is still in wide use despite the legal hurdles and frequent controversy over whether it is safe for humans. In 1985, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified glyphosate as a potential carcinogen, but the agency changed the classification in 1991, saying at that time that glyphosate was most likely not a human carcinogen. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organization agency, said glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.
In recent years, several academic studies and data analysis have linked Roundup and glyphosate to health problems that are common in Alabama.
- Glyphosate was determined to cause digestive problems.
- Roundup killed liver cells, according to a French study.
- Rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses have risen in a similar pattern to use of glyphosate on corn and soybean crops.
- Glyphosate encourages breast cancer growth. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Alabama.
- A study found that parental exposure to Roundup was connected to brain cancer in children.
- Studies have linked glyphosate to Parkinson’s disease. Alabama has one of the 10 highest rates of Parkinson’s deaths in the country.
- A national increase in Alzheimer’s disease deaths over the past two decades is correlated with glyphosate use on corn and soy crops. Alabama has one of the five highest Alzheimer’s death rates.
How to File an Alabama Roundup Lawsuit
If you or a loved one regularly used Roundup or its active ingredient, glyphosate, and later developed cancer or another serious illness, you should consult a qualified attorney in Alabama to help you seek the damages to which you may be entitled.
Because the lawsuits against Bayer AG/Monsanto are not a class action, each case will be evaluated and decided on its merits, and your time to file a lawsuit may be limited by Alabama law.
Speak with a qualified Alabama attorney today to ensure you are able to seek justice.
Alabama Roundup Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
- Location: Birmingham, Alabama; Boston, Massachusetts; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Pensacola, Florida
- Website: https://www.levinlaw.com/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit-cancer-link
- Phone number: 800-277-1193
Environmental Litigation Group
- Location: Birmingham, Alabama
- Website: https://www.elglaw.com/lymphoma-roundup/
- Phone number: 888-373-8301
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