The state of Iowa is the single biggest producer of corn in the United States and the second-biggest producer of soybeans among all states. Not only that, but the state ranks second overall in cash farm receipts, which totaled more than $26 billion in 2016. Farming is a way of life for thousands of Iowans, and 1 in 5 jobs in the state are tied to agriculture. That’s why such great concern is growing across the state over a popular weed killer.
After a California jury’s decision to award $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, many people who work in farming or related fields across the state of Iowa should consider their legal options. That jury decided that the man’s use of Roundup, the most popular weed killer used in farming, caused his cancer.
Global glyphosate use has risen nearly 15-fold since the mid-90s, with an estimated 19 percent of global use happening in the U.S. alone.
Iowa recorded the second-highest use of glyphosate for farming operations in 2016, and thousands across the state have been exposed to this chemical for decades, with traces of the substance even being present in the food supply.
For those who have worked directly with Roundup or glyphosate, their health concerns may be serious, and it’s important to know how glyphosate is used in our state and what individuals’ legal rights may be.
Glyphosate Use in Iowa
The U.S. Geological Survey, which maintains a database of herbicide and pesticide use in agriculture, reported that Iowa had the second-highest rate of use of glyphosate in the nation in 2016.
Iowa was ranked #2 in highest use of glyphosate in the country with over 24,036,023.21 million pounds applied. (USGS.gov)
Only Illinois farmers used more with Iowa farms using more than 24 million pounds of the substance in that year alone. Usage of glyphosate for farming in Iowa has gone up nearly 40 times the level recorded in 1992, and the usage level recorded in 2016 was the state’s highest use ever recorded.
Glyphosate is widely used across the country to control weeds in many of the crops that are most common in Iowa, particularly corn and soybeans. But it’s also used frequently across the country on wheat, oats, hay and other crops, including fruits and vegetables.
As the single most popular weed killer used in farming, glyphosate has proven to be very versatile over the years, but how was it used in Iowa in 2016?
- Corn: 42%
- Soybeans: 57%
- All other crops: 1%
No other state produces more grain corn than Iowa, and the state is second behind Illinois in soybean production. Iowa also ranks in the top 10 for several other crops that are popular glyphosate targets across the country, including oats (fifth), alfalfa hay (ninth) and silage corn (sixth).
Farming accounts for more than 20 percent of Iowa’s jobs and about 17 percent of household income across the state. Iowa has about 129,000 farm operators, and more than 97 percent of farms are family-owned.
With such a long and rich agricultural heritage, thousands of people all across the state of Iowa are, rightly, concerned about their potential exposure to Roundup and glyphosate, but those involved in agriculture are not the only Iowans who have been exposed to Roundup.
The total glyphosate use levels reported by the U.S. Geological Survey cover only the herbicide used in farming operations, but thousands more pounds of the substance are used in other commercial applications, such as landscaping and groundskeeping, and even more is used for non-commercial applications, as Roundup is not only the biggest herbicide for professionals but for amateurs as well.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Iowa clearly is impacted by its agricultural application.
Iowa Residents at Risk
Given the nature of how glyphosate and other weed killers are used, those whose jobs involve physically applying the weed killer to crops, sports fields, public spaces and other plants are the Iowa residents at the highest risk of potentially dangerous exposure to Roundup.
But because multiple rounds of independent testing, including that done by the federal government itself, have shown that glyphosate can be detected in the food supply, the truth is that even those who have never come into direct contact with Roundup or glyphosate have probably been exposed to it.
Recent testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed that glyphosate was present in about half the samples the agency tested, but the FDA’s test is only a few years old, and before 2016, they did not have an effective test at all. Additionally, the most recent FDA testing did not cover oats or wheat, which are two crops on which glyphosate is very widely used.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Iowa
Since the California jury’s decision in the fall to award an eye-popping sum to a former school groundskeeper who developed terminal cancer, the lawsuit floodgates have opened against Roundup’s maker, Monsanto, and its parent company, Bayer AG, the German pharma giant. Bayer has confirm that it’s facing nearly 12,000 lawsuits alleging a connection between Roundup and serious illness in humans.
Several more trials are underway this year or will get underway soon, which is leading many people across Iowa to consider their legal options. If you or a loved one used Roundup and later became seriously ill or have been diagnosed with a major medical condition, including any form of cancer, you should consult with a qualified local attorney who can review your case and make recommendations about your next steps.
It’s important to note that because of Iowa state law, your time to seek justice may be limited. Iowa’s product liability laws are some of the least consumer-friendly in the nation, as the state sets a two-year product liability time limit. That means that you have just 24 months from the time you learn that Roundup or glyphosate have caused your serious illness to begin legal proceedings.
While some plaintiffs have sought class action status, most of the cases currently pending are not considered a single class action. That means that while every case will be decided on its merits, which can be good for consumers who have been wronged, but it also means that your clock may be ticking.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
In addition to the California jury’s determination that the groundskeeper suing Monsanto developed cancer because of his exposure to Roundup, the herbicide is the subject of much scientific study and controversy over its supposed safety.
The U.S. government’s official position is that glyphosate is most likely not a human carcinogen, but that’s not always been the case, and many organizations and groups disagree on that point. Until 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, and both the state of California and the World Health Organization list the substance that way today.
In 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” due to a growing body of research linking glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.
When you add to that the growing medical science opinion that glyphosate not only causes cancer but a whole host of other health problems, it becomes clear this substance is far from harmless. Medical studies and analysis have linked Roundup and/or glyphosate to health problems that affect people all over Iowa, including:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
How to File an Iowa Roundup Lawsuit
For Iowa residents who regularly used or have been exposed to Roundup or glyphosate and have since been diagnosed with a serious illness, particularly cancer, the time is now to reach out to a qualified local attorney.
Because most of these cases are not class actions, only a qualified Iowa attorney can review your case and help you determine whether to bring legal action against Monsanto and Bayer. The strict product liability statutes in Iowa limit your time to file a lawsuit, so you don’t have time to waste.
Iowa Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
The following lawyers and attorneys at these Iowa law firms can help victims with cancer caused by glyphosate exposure.
Stoltze & Stoltze
- Location: Iowa
- Website: https://stoltzelaw.com/blog/product-liability/roundup-class-action-lawsuit/
- Phone number: 515-244-1473
Hupy and Abraham
- Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Website: https://www.hupy.com/library/non-hodgkin-s-lymphoma-caused-by-roundup-exposure-.cfm
- Phone number: 319-731-9009
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Memorandum: Second Peer Review of Glyphosate. (1991.) Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/cleared_reviews/csr_PC-103601_30-Oct-91_265.pdf
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