With a rich agricultural tradition that predates even statehood, Kansas is one of the leading farming states in the United States. As a top 10 producer of multiple crops, agriculture is the single biggest economic force in Kansas, producing nearly $70 billion every year and accounting for nearly half of the total economy of the state.
If you understand farming’s centrality to the Kansas economy, it’s not difficult to see why the state not only is a top crop producer but one of the biggest users of the popular herbicide glyphosate. In fact, according to federal data, only three states (Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska) used more glyphosate for farming purposes in 2016.
It’s because glyphosate (often known by the brand name Roundup) is so widely used in our state that many people around Kansas want to learn more about the potential risks associated with the product and why it’s the target of so many lawsuits across the country that have connected the weed killer with serious diseases, including many forms of cancer.
For those in Kansas who have worked directly with Roundup or glyphosate and later become ill, it’s important to understand the issues surrounding these lawsuits and what your rights may be.
Glyphosate Use in Kansas
According to the most recent data published by the U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas farmers spread more than 19.5 million gallons of glyphosate on their crops in 2016, putting the state fourth overall in the nation for glyphosate use that year. Since 1992, glyphosate use in Kansas has surged, rising by an estimated 3,300 percent, though the usage is down from the peak recorded in 2015.
It’s not difficult to take a glance at what Kansas farmers produce and which crops are most frequently targeted by glyphosate and draw your own conclusions about why the state’s farmers use so much glyphosate. Kansas is the No. 1 overall producer of wheat, the seventh-biggest producer of grain corn and a top 10 soybean state. In 2016, here’s how the state’s glyphosate use was broken down by crop type:
- Corn: 29%
- Soybeans: 32%
- Wheat: 7%
- Hay: 16%
- All other crops: 16%
More than 46 million acres of land in Kansas are dedicated to farming, which is more than 88 percent of the overall land in the state, and more than 1 in 10 jobs are connected to farming. Since long before Kansas was a state, this land has been devoted to farming.
Given that historic devotion to agriculture, it’s clear why so many people across Kansas are becoming more and more concerned about their exposure to Roundup and glyphosate, but those involved in agriculture are far from the only Kansans who have cause for concern. After all, Roundup is an enormously popular brand among homeowners as well, as a version of the product is widely used for residential and non-commercial purposes. Plus, many more individuals work with the substance on a professional level without working in farming; for instance, those who work as landscapers and groundskeepers are very likely to have direct contact with Roundup and glyphosate.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Kansas clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Kansas Residents at Risk
Outside of those who have used Roundup or glyphosate as part of their jobs, including in farming or professional landscaping, or are in the habit of using it to kill weeds around their properties, there’s another reason for all Kansans to be concerned about it —glyphosate residue is in our food supply.
In fact, both private and government testing has found varying amounts of glyphosate in foods like cereal, oatmeal, snack bars, wine and beer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only was able to begin testing for glyphosate a few years ago, so the truth is that it’s likely impossible to determine how many people throughout the United States, including in Kansas, were exposed to the herbicide thanks to its presence in the food supply.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Kansas
The presence of glyphosate in the food supply is particularly disturbing given the recent legal developments against Bayer AG, the parent company of Monsanto, the inventor of Roundup. Bayer has confirmed it’s facing nearly 12,000 lawsuits that allege users of Roundup later became seriously ill. It was this type of claim that caused the first major domino to fall against Bayer and Monsanto when a California jury in the fall of 2018 determined that a former school groundskeeper became terminally ill with cancer as a direct result of his exposure to Roundup.
That jury awarded the man $289 million, though a judge later reduced the amount, and the case and the verdict are currently under appeal. But even if that decision were to change, Bayer and Monsanto are still facing thousands upon thousands of lawsuits over Roundup, and many in Kansas are likely wondering what their legal outlook could be.
Consumers in Kansas face some of the most strict product liability rules in the nation, and those in the state have just two years from the date of injury to file a claim. So that means that if you are a Kansas resident, you could have as little as 24 months from the time you become aware that Roundup has made you seriously ill to file a claim against Monsanto and Bayer.
That’s why it’s so important for those involved in farming or groundskeeping in Kansas to work quickly by contacting a qualified local attorney who can review their case and help them determine the best path forward. As of yet, there is no large class action that’s been approved in these cases, so each individual’s situation will be considered on its merits. Only an attorney with expertise in these cases can help you understand your rights and pursue justice.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
If glyphosate has been ruled harmful by a jury, it’s reasonable to wonder why use of it is permitted in the first place. Use of glyphosate began to rise quickly after a 1991 decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reverse its position that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. So the official U.S. government position is that glyphosate most likely does not cause cancer in humans, but this is far from a consensus position.
In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that not only are glyphosate and Roundup likely a cause of cancer in humans but that the herbicide can cause a great many other serious health problems for those exposed to it. This evidence has been enough to convince not only the California jury who issued the blockbuster verdict last year, but the state of California itself considers glyphosate a cancer-causing agent, as does the World Health Organization.
Roundup and glyphosate are legal to use in farming and for residential use despite being linked to many serious health problems, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Death of liver cells
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Childhood brain cancer
- Thyroid cancer
How to File a Kansas Roundup Lawsuit
For residents of Kansas who have regularly used Roundup or glyphosate who now are sick or have been diagnosed with a serious illness, the time to act and seek legal remedies may be limited by state law.
Consult with a qualified local attorney who will review your case and determine whether to pursue legal action against Monsanto and Bayer AG.
Kansas Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Hutton & Hutton Law Firm
- Location: Wichita, Kansas
- Website: https://www.huttonlaw.com/blog/2018/august/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit-attorneys/
- Phone number: 316-668-1166
- Location: Kansas City, Missouri
- Website: https://www.dickersonoxton.com/mass-tort/roundup-weedkiller-lawsuits/
- Phone number: 903-428-8220
- 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
- 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
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