The economic and cultural importance of agriculture to life in Delaware is undeniable. Farming and related operations contribute about $8 billion to the state’s economy every year, and thousands of jobs rely on agriculture and food production.
More than 1 in 3 acres of land across Delaware are devoted to farming, and agriculture’s centrality to the financial health and day-to-day lives of many people across the state are big reasons why so many people in Delaware are growing more and more concerned over their exposure to a hotly debated and controversial weed killer that’s used widely in farming in our state and across the country — glyphosate.
As the active ingredient in the popular weed killer product Roundup, glyphosate is an incredibly effective way to kill weeds, which is why it’s so popular in farming, as it can help increase yields. But it’s also the subject of thousands of roundup cancer lawsuits, including many that have been filed right here in Delaware, alleging that the product is far from safe. Two verdicts already have been reached in which jury members were convinced that Roundup causes cancer, and research projects have tied the weed killer to multiple forms of cancer and other serious illnesses.
Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, is incorporated here in the state of Delaware, so our state is right in the heart of the legal firestorm that’s enveloped Roundup and Monsanto.
For Delaware residents who have used Roundup, whether for farming or one of its other many popular uses, such as in residential lawns and properties, it’s important to know the background of this controversy and how state law may limit your rights in this area.
Glyphosate Use in Delaware
According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 350,000 pounds of glyphosate were used for farming operations in Delaware in 2016 alone. While that represents a drop from the state’s record high, which was recorded in 2014, it still marks a 353 percent increase in glyphosate use between 1992 and 2016, the most recent year available.
While glyphosate is very widely used nationally for a variety of crops, there are two in particular — corn and soybeans — that receive the lion’s share of the herbicide every year, and that pattern plays out when considering how Delaware farmers sorted their glyphosate use in 2016:
- Corn: 44%
- Soybeans: 52%
- Wheat: 3%
- All other crops: 1%
While the small state of Delaware is not as rich as some other states when it comes to acreage or profits, it still is a major producer of several crops that are commonly treated with glyphosate, including corn (30th in the nation), soybeans (27th) and wheat (37th).
When thinking about the data behind how much glyphosate is used for agriculture every year in Delaware, also consider the fact that the USGS data is just one unknown fraction of the total use of glyphosate in Delaware. That’s because those numbers cover only the estimated glyphosate used for farming in our state, and they do not include Roundup or glyphosate used by everyday people to control weeds around their properties or use of the weed killer by professional landscapers or municipalities and other public agencies.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Delaware clearly is impacted by its agricultural application.
Delaware Residents at Risk
Delaware residents who have personally used Roundup to kill weeds on agricultural crops, in parks or sports fields or around their own private properties are the people most likely to be experiencing health problems as a result. In many of the cases currently pending against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG, the plaintiffs had hands-on experience with glyphosate and/or Roundup, using a sprayer to apply the chemical to weeds; in this process, the substance got on their clothing and skin and could even have been accidentally inhaled or ingested.
While people who have personally handled Roundup or glyphosate are the closest to this issue, the truth is that many people across Delaware who have never even seen a bottle of Roundup have potentially been exposed to it anyway. Multiple rounds of testing, including checks done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have uncovered glyphosate residue in dozens of food products that can be purchased at your local grocery store.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Delaware
Among the nearly 12,000 cases pending against Monsanto and Bayer, multiple cases have been filed here in Delaware, where Monsanto is legally incorporated, though its headquarters are in Missouri. Those cases are expected to continue progressing in 2019 and 2020, and they could join the two other, separate verdicts that already have been reached in trials that have taken place in California. In both of those cases, jury members were convinced by evidence that the plaintiffs developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of their use of glyphosate.
In the first California verdict, which was announced in the autumn of 2018, jury members awarded a former school groundskeeper $289 million, but that sum was later reduced by a judge and that case is currently under appeal. The other cases pending against Monsanto and Bayer make similar claims questioning the safety of Roundup as well as Monsanto’s business practices with regard to how it’s promoted its product and pushed scientists and regulators to declare Roundup safe.
For Delaware residents who have gotten sick or been diagnosed with serious health conditions, including any form of cancer, it’s important to understand how the state could be limiting your ability to seek legal recourse. Delaware state law sets a two-year time limit, among the lowest limits in the nation, for product liability lawsuits, which means you could have as little as 24 months from the date of your Roundup-caused diagnosis to file a suit against the company.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
The two juries in California who have already ruled that Roundup causes cancer are just the latest voices to join the growing chorus of researchers, regulators and scientists saying the same thing.
Medical and scientific researchers have connected Roundup and/or glyphosate to many serious medical problems, including multiple types of cancer, that impact people all around our state, such as:
- Childhood brain cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
Additionally, regulators in California have added glyphosate to that state’s list of known carcinogens, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer also has declared that glyphosate causes cancer in humans.
How to File a Delaware Roundup Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have regularly used or been exposed to Roundup or its active ingredient, glyphosate, it’s time to consult with a qualified local attorney who can review your case. Whether you’ve used the herbicide as part of your farming or landscaping job or you’ve employed it as a weed killer around your property, state law could severely limit the time you have to seek legal action, so you should seek a consultation with an expert as soon as possible.
Delaware Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor
- Location: Wilmington, Delaware
- Website: https://www.youngconawayinjurylawyers.com/Dangerous-and-Defective-Products/Roundup.shtml
- Phone number: 888-395-7576
Jacobs & Crumplar
- Location: Georgetown and Wilmington, Delaware
- Website: https://www.jcdelaw.com/firm-news/
- Phone number: 800-355-1818
- 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
- Reuters, U.S. trial tests claims Roundup weed killer caused cancer. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-glyphosate-lawsuit/us-trial-tests-claims-roundup-weed-killer-caused-cancer-idUSKCN1QD0I8
- The Associated Press, Jury: Roundup weed killer is major factor in man’s cancer. (2019.) Retrieved from https://apnews.com/1f0ecf279c1b4a0c941506e4c255bbd8
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2018 Delaware Agricultural Statistics. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=DELAWARE
- University of Delaware, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, The Impact of Agriculture on Delaware’s Economy. (2010.) Retrieved from https://cdn.canr.udel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/AgInDeEconB.pdf
- 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