Agriculture is the single largest industry in the state of Arkansas, contributing about $16 billion to the state’s economy every year. The state ranks first in the nation in rice production and third in cotton production, providing about 7 percent of the total U.S. production of that crop.
With nearly 50,000 agricultural operations spread across 14.5 million acres, farming operations are central to the everyday lives of thousands of people all across the state. That’s one reason why concerns are growing across the state over a controversial chemical that’s widely used in farming and other commercial operations, such as landscaping.
Glyphosate, often referred to by the brand name Roundup, is at the center of thousands of lawsuits across the country and is the subject of a growing body of evidence that indicates the product is far from safe.
Arkansas residents who may be concerned about their health and possible exposure to glyphosate or Roundup should know what rights they have and what laws may be in place to limit their time to seek legal action.
Glyphosate Use in Arkansas
Estimates published by the U.S. Geological Survey indicate Arkansas farmers applied more than 7 million pounds of glyphosate to their fields in 2016, placing the state 14th among all states for most glyphosate used. Arkansas recorded peak glyphosate usage in 2013, but the 2016 figure marked an increase from the previous year, and usage has surged an incredible 6,500 percent since 1992.
Several crops are common glyphosate targets around the country, particularly corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice, and many of them are also the ones upon which Arkansas farmers spread the most glyphosate in 2016. Here’s a look at how the state’s usage of the herbicide was divided:
- Corn: 20%
- Soybeans: 62%
- Cotton: 8%
- Rice: 10%
Arkansas is a top three producer in the nation of both rice (1st) and cotton (3rd), and the state produces nearly 50 percent of the rice grown in the entire United States. The state is also a top 20 producer of soybeans and grain corn. Farming operations account for about 42 percent of the state’s total land mass.
The total coverage of farming operations and the centrality of agriculture and food production mean that there’s little doubt that thousands of Arkansas residents have been routinely exposed to glyphosate because of their jobs. In addition to commercial farming operations, Roundup is widely used to control weeds in other commercial applications, such as by professional gardeners, landscapers and groundskeepers. And it’s a hugely popular weed killer among homeowners to help control yard weeds.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Arkansas clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Arkansas Residents at Risk
Without question, those who personally have applied Roundup or glyphosate to weeds will have the greatest risk of dangerous exposure, whether they’ve gotten the substance on their skin or clothing, inhaled its vapors or accidentally ingested it. That could include farm workers, food production personnel, landscapers, groundskeepers and professional gardeners. These individuals simply have more chances of exposure because of their jobs.
They are not the only ones exposed to Roundup and glyphosate due to the products’ popularity for at-home use, but there’s an even more insidious issue that exposes nearly everyone to glyphosate. Multiple rounds of testing, including some done by the federal government itself, have detected varying amounts of glyphosate on a huge range of food products, from breakfast cereals to beer and wine.
Plus, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration only recently developed a successful test for glyphosate in food, it’s impossible to know for sure how many people have ingested glyphosate through the food they buy at the grocery store.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Arkansas
Roundup was invented by Monsanto, the St. Louis-based agrochemical giant, and Monsanto recently was purchased by Bayer AG, a German pharma company. Bayer has confirmed that it’s facing about 12,000 lawsuits, many of them alleging that Roundup and glyphosate cause cancer.
The new barrage of roundup lawsuits has swelled since a blockbuster jury verdict in the fall of 2018 in which a California jury determined that a former school groundskeeper developed terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a direct result of his workplace exposure to glyphosate, which he used routinely. Jury members awarded Dewayne “Lee” Johnson a $289 million verdict, but a judge later reduced that amount to $78 million, and the case is currently under appeal.
Several more cases are underway or set to get underway in early 2019, and many people across the state of Arkansas who have been exposed to glyphosate are exploring what legal options they might have against Monsanto and Bayer. Consumers in Arkansas have three years to file product liability lawsuits in the state, meaning that if you have been exposed to glyphosate or Roundup and have become sick or have been diagnosed with a serious illness, your time to file is probably limited.
New cases are being filed every day, and most of the cases are not classified as class actions, so each case must be considered on its individual merits, which means that only a qualified attorney can evaluate your situation and help you determine the best path forward.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
The U.S. government’s official position is that glyphosate is safe for people to use provided they follow the instructions on the label, but this view is far from unanimous. Medical and academic research, data analysis projects, the state of California and the World Health Organization all have linked glyphosate and/or Roundup to cancer and other serious health problems, many of which impact people all around Arkansas, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Thyroid cancer
- Breast cancer
How to File an Arkansas Roundup Lawsuit
If you have used or been exposed to Roundup or glyphosate and have become sick or been diagnosed with a major illness, including any type of cancer, you should immediately seek the advice of a qualified Arkansas attorney.
Keep in mind that because of Arkansas state law, your time to seek justice could be limited, but only a qualified local lawyer can help you make that determination. For those who have used Roundup and become seriously ill, there truly is no time to waste.
Arkansas Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Rainwater Holt & Sexton
- Location: Arkansas
- Website: https://www.callrainwater.com/practice-areas/defective-product/round-up
- Phone number: 800-767-4815
- Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
- Website: https://www.duncanfirm.com/roundup-cancer-lawsuits.html
- Phone number: 501-228-7600
- U.S. Geological Survey, Estimated Annual Agricultural Pesticide Use. (2017.) Retrieved from https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/county-level/StateLevel/LowEstimate_AgPestUsebyCropGroup92to16.txt
- Arkansas Farm Bureau, Ag Facts. (Undated.) Retrieved https://www.arfb.com/pages/education/ag-facts/
- FindLaw.com, Time Limits for Filing Product Liability Cases: State-by-State. (Undated.) Retrieved from https://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/time-limits-for-filing-product-liability-cases-state-by-state.html
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Questions and Answers on Glyphosate. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/pesticides/ucm583713.htm
- Environmental Working Group, Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup? (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/childrenshealth/glyphosateincereal/
- National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. (2013.) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170
- National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. (2009.) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539684
- National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Glyphosate induced cell death through apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms. (2012.) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504123
- WeedKillerCrisis.com, Shocking Report Shows Weedkiller Ingredient Glyphosate Causing Americans to Be Sicker and Dying Younger. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.weedkillercrisis.com/topics/glyphosate-report-2019/