Many people will conjure the image of a sprawling ranch when they’re asked to think of farming in Colorado, and while it’s true that the state is a top 20 producer of several livestock animals, including cattle, hogs, and sheep and lambs, the state is also a crucial crop producer.
With an annual economic contribution of more than $40 billion a year, agriculture is big business across the state of Colorado. The state is one of the leading producers of crops like wheat and corn, and farming employs nearly 200,000 people across the state.
Farming has deep roots in the state, which is why many across Colorado are becoming increasingly concerned about their exposure to a controversial and potentially dangerous herbicide, Roundup. Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are under heavy suspicion, including being the focus of thousands of lawsuits across the country. In addition to the roundup cancer lawsuits, the weed killer has been tied in medical studies to many serious health problems, including cancer.
What do people in Colorado need to know about this contentious chemical and state laws that may limit their ability to seek legal recourse?
Glyphosate Use in Colorado
Colorado ranked 17th in the use of glyphosate in farming in 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which estimates herbicide, pesticide and insecticide use in agricultural operations in the continental United States. The USGS estimated that Colorado farmers used more than 5.4 million pounds of glyphosate in 2016 alone, which was a record for the state.
In addition to posting a single-year increase and a state record, Colorado has seen glyphosate use explode since 1992, jumping nearly 3,300 percent over the past two decades.
Glyphosate is used to kill weeds in a variety of diverse crops, but a few crops are the most popular targets across the country. These primarily include corn, soybeans, wheat and oats, and the state’s use of glyphosate largely tracks with those national trends. Here’s a look at which crops received what shares of glyphosate used in Colorado in 2016:
- Corn: 31%
- Wheat: 11%
- Pasture & hay: 46%
- Alfalfa: 1%
- All other crops: 10%
Colorado is in the top 15 nationally in production of several crops that are popular targets for glyphosate treatment, including wheat (8th) and corn (15). The state contains about 33 million acres of farm- and ranchland, which accounts for about half the state.
We know from USGS data how much glyphosate is used for farming in the state and which crops were the favorite targets, but it’s important to note that those figures do not account for glyphosate or Roundup used for commercial nonfarm operations, such as landscaping, or private use of Roundup, which is also a hugely popular weed killer for use by homeowners and landlords to control vegetation around their properties.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Colorado clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Colorado Residents at Risk
Most of the plaintiffs in the cases currently underway or pending are individuals who personally used Roundup or glyphosate, whether for at-home use or professional use. Those who have had hands-on experience with the chemical are clearly the people who should have the greatest concerns over their health, as they are more likely to have skin contact, accidental ingestion or vapor inhalation.
One of the more troubling aspects of the widespread use of glyphosate in farming is that the herbicide has been detected in the food supply. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has detected levels of glyphosate in dozens of food products; in fact, about half the samples the FDA tested had glyphosate. Private testing has further found glyphosate residue in oats, breakfast cereal, snack bars, granola, wine, beer and orange juice, among dozens of other products.
The FDA did not even have a test that could detect glyphosate residue until 2016, so the truth is that it’s impossible to quantify the average person’s exposure over the past 20-plus years.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Colorado
Around 12,000 cases have been filed against Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, and Bayer AG, the German pharma giant that purchased Monsanto a couple of years ago. Several cases are getting underway in 2019, and several more are expected to continue progressing. These all come on the heels of the news-making jury verdict in 2018 in which a former school groundskeeper in California won a $289 million decision (later reduced by a judge to $78 million) after jury members agreed that the man got termina non-Hodgkin lymphoma after years of using Roundup for work.
That verdict is under appeal, but with the thousands of cases pending across the country, people in Colorado should know what limits may exist on their ability to file lawsuits in the event that they became sick after using Roundup.
Colorado has some of the least consumer-friendly product liability laws in the nation, and residents are limited to two years to file such cases. What that means is that for those who used Roundup and later became seriously ill or had major health problems, they have just 24 months to begin legal proceedings from the time they learned Roundup caused or contributed to their illness.
Thousands of cases are pending, and it seems like more cases are filed every day. The best way to ensure that you’re able to have your day in court if you’ve been harmed by Roundup or glyphosate is to consult with a qualified Colorado attorney who can review your case and help you figure out your next moves.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
While the jury who heard Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s case was the first jury to agree that Roundup causes cancer, that California jury is not the first group to be convinced that glyphosate is unsafe. In fact, the U.S. government formerly classified the herbicide as a possible carcinogen for years before reversing its position. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s official position is that glyphosate is probably not a carcinogen, but both the state of California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer disagree, as does a growing body of medical evidence.
Several academic, data and medical research projects in recent years have linked Roundup and glyphosate to several serious health problems that impact thousands of people across the U.S. and Colorado, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
How to File a Colorado Roundup Lawsuit
Because of state laws governing product liability lawsuits, consumers have a limited window in which they can seek restitution. In Colorado, that time limit is just two years, so for those who have used or been exposed to Roundup or glyphosate and have since become seriously ill, including being diagnosed with any form of cancer, it’s in your best interest to consult with a qualified local expert.
Most of the cases currently pending against Bayer and Monsanto are not moving forward as class actions, meaning that at this point, the only way to potentially recover damages is to seek a consultation with a qualified Colorado attorney who can review your case with you.
Colorado Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
The Sawaya Law Firm
- Location: Colorado
- Website: https://www.sawayalaw.com/product-liability-attorney/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit-lawyer/
- Phone number: 866-791-1238
Zaner Harden Law
- Location: Denver, Colorado
- Website: https://www.zanerhardenlaw.com/denver-dangerous-drug-lawyer/roundup-weed-killer-personal-injury-lawyer/
- Phone number: 303-557-2019
- World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of
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