With an agricultural industry that contributes more than $10 billion to the state’s economy every year, Louisiana’s farming roots run deep and have huge impact across the state, putting food on the table in more ways than one.
The importance of agriculture to the past and future of Louisiana is a big reason why so many people across the state are, rightly, concerned about their exposure to a potentially dangerous and highly controversial weed killer, Roundup.
Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are the subject of thousands of lawsuits that claim that not only is the herbicide unsafe for humans but that Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, has long known the product was unsafe and continued to sell it and attempt to discredit those who questioned its safety.
If you have used Roundup, whether as part of your agriculture related job, or for any other reason and you have since been diagnosed with a serious illness, including any form of cancer, it’s important that you know your rights.
Glyphosate Use in Louisiana
Louisiana farmers used about 5 million pounds of glyphosate on their crops in 2016, placing the state at 21st on the list of glyphosate use among all states. While the state’s usage according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which estimates pesticide use for agriculture in the 48 continental states, has dropped since reaching a historic high in 2014, Louisiana has seen an massive surge since 1992, with usage going up 1,435 percent over the past two decades.
Nationally, glyphosate is so popular in part because of its versatility, as it is effective for treating weeds on corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and many other crops, many of which are commonly grown in Louisiana. Here’s a look at which crops received the most glyphosate in our state in 2016:
- Corn: 22%
- Soybeans: 52%
- Wheat: 1%
- Cotton: 8%
- Rice: 8%
- Pasture & hay: 5%
- All other crops: 4%
Louisiana is a top 25 state in several of the crops that are frequent glyphosate targets here and across the country, including corn (22nd), soybeans (18th) and rice (2nd).
It can be shocking to see the increase in glyphosate usage that’s noted in the USGS data, but it’s even more troubling to consider that those figures are a fraction of the total usage of glyphosate and Roundup in our state every year. That’s because in addition to being the most commonly used weed killer in agriculture, Roundup is also very commonly used for non-farming commercial purposes, municipal groundskeeping and home gardening.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Louisiana clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Louisiana Residents at Risk
Those who have personally applied Roundup or glyphosate to crops or weeds in lawns, parks and other properties are without a doubt those at greatest risk of adverse effects from their exposure. These people are more likely to have had skin contact with the substance or to have accidentally inhaled or even ingested it.
But those who use Roundup and glyphosate as part of their jobs or to treat weeds around their properties are not the only people who have been exposed to this potentially dangerous chemical. That’s because glyphosate residue is present in the food supply, according to multiple rounds of public and private testing that revealed the chemical in a range of food, from breakfast cereal to beer and wine.
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged finding glyphosate residue in about half of the samples it tested during the most recent round of experiments.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Louisiana
So far, two juries in California have sided with the plaintiffs in separate cases in which Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG, have been accused of selling a product that causes cancer. In both cases, juries ruled that two men who had longtime exposure to Roundup developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of using the herbicide.
In addition to those verdicts, Bayer has confirmed that the company is facing nearly 12,000 lawsuits across the country in which similar allegations are being made. The first California verdict, which was announced in the fall of 2018, found that not only had Roundup caused a former school groundskeeper to develop terminal cancer but that Monsanto purposefully concealed the risks associated with its product. The second trial is now proceeding to another phase that will determine whether Monsanto is liable for the plaintiff’s cancer in that case and if the man should be awarded damages.
The two California verdicts are especially noteworthy because of the differences between the cases; in one case, a man used Roundup regularly as part of his job, but in the second, the plaintiff used Roundup for years around his home and property. What this serves to illustrate is that it’s not necessary to be exposed to Roundup in the workplace, but that regular use is a serious factor when it comes to the possible health effects.
For Louisiana residents who regularly used or otherwise were exposed to Roundup or glyphosate and later became seriously ill, it’s important to understand how state law could limit your rights. The state’s product liability laws are among the most restrictive in the country, and consumers have just a year from the date of injury to begin legal proceedings.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
The two California juries who have sided with plaintiffs in their cases are not the first or only groups of people to condemn glyphosate and Roundup as harmful to human health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the state of California both officially list the herbicide as a probable human carcinogen.
While this isn’t a consensus view at this point (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disagrees, for instance), a growing body of research is pointing to a connection between Roundup (or glyphosate) and several serious health problems, such as:
- Childhood brain cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
How to File a Louisiana Roundup Lawsuit
For Louisiana residents who have had years of exposure to Roundup or glyphosate, whether through professional or personal use, the time to act is now. Your window to seek damages in a court of law is limited by state statute.
A consultation with a qualified local attorney is the best way to have an expert evaluate your case and determine what your next steps should be.
Louisiana Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
The following lawyers and attorneys at these Louisiana law firms can help victims with cancer caused by glyphosate exposure.
Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers
- Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
- Website: https://bartbernard.com/practice-areas/product-liability/roundup-lawsuit
- Phone number: 800-GET-BART
- Location: Louisiana
- Website: https://www.dudleydebosier.com/cases-we-handle/defective-products/roundup-glyphosate/
- Phone number: 866-971-5201
- 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 Louisiana Agricultural Statistics. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=LOUISIANA
- Louisiana State University Ag Center, Highlights of Louisiana
- Agriculture 2017. (2017.) Retrieved from https://www.lsuagcenter.com/~/media/system/3/5/a/d/35ad6620c7632d2a9b2be67117ffce07/ac-4%20highlights%20of%20ag%202017pdf.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
- Center for Environmental Health, Getting Toxic Chemicals Off The Menu, A School Guide To Safer Cereals. (Undated.) Retrieved from https://www.ceh.org/wp-content/uploads/Glyphosate-in-Schools-Report.pdf
- Moms Across America, Breakfast Favorite Orange Juice Tainted by Glyphosate Herbicide. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.momsacrossamerica.com/orange_juice_postive_for_glyphosate_again
- 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 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 induced cell death through apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms. (2012.) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504123