Though times have changed in many ways, agriculture remains the foundation of Minnesota’s economy, with the state producing $17 billion in agriculture sales every year and the farming industry accounting for nearly 15 percent of the state’s employment.
Given agriculture’s central position to the economic health of the state, it’s no wonder why so many people across Minnesota are concerned about their potential exposure to a harmful and dangerous weed killer, glyphosate. Also known by the brand name Roundup, glyphosate is the most popular herbicide in the world, and it’s used for both commercial and residential purposes across the state of Minnesota.
But glyphosate and Roundup are also at the center of a legal firestorm surrounding the safety of the product and the business practices that have helped propel it to the very top of the list when it comes to weed killers.
Glyphosate is in very wide use across Minnesota, and many in the state are, rightly, concerned about the long-term damage the product may have caused. Those who regularly use it or have been otherwise exposed should know their rights in the state of Minnesota and should consider consulting an attorney.
Glyphosate Use in Minnesota
Minnesota ranks sixth in the nation overall in glyphosate use, according to the most recently available data from the U.S. Geological Survey, which reports pesticide and herbicide use across the country. In 2016, more than 17.5 million pounds of glyphosate were applied to crops across Minnesota, and usage has surged more than 9,500 percent since 1992.
Why is glyphosate so popular in our state? The short answer is that the crops that are most profitable for Minnesota farmers also happen to be the crops most likely to be glyphosate targets, including corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. How did our farmers use glyphosate in 2016?
- Corn: 41%
- Soybeans: 53%
- All other crops: 6%
Glyphosate use in Minnesota peaked in 2012, but 2016 saw an increase over the previous year, so glyphosate use in our state could be back on the upswing.
When you combine direct farming operations and agricultural processing, Minnesota’s agricultural industry generates more than $112 billion in economic impact annually, and the state ranks fifth overall in the nation for total value of agricultural goods produced. Minnesota is also in the top 10 for several specific crops, including wheat (ninth), soybeans (third) and corn (fourth).
More than 70,000 farms are spread across the state, and Minnesota boasts more than 26 million acres of farmland total.
Given the prevalence of farming and food production, it’s not hard to see why so many people across Minnesota are watching closely the outcome of several court cases pending against Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup. For people who have worked directly in farming where they may have had skin contact or inhaled glyphosate or those who have otherwise worked with the substance, including as groundskeepers, professional gardeners or landscapers, the risk hits closest to home.
But people whose jobs rely on using Roundup and glyphosate are not the only ones who should be concerned, as even those who never have come into direct contact with the substance still could have been exposed to it, thanks to the presence of trace amounts of glyphosate that have been detected in the food supply.
However one was exposed to glyphosate or Roundup, it’s important to consider your legal options.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Minnesota clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Minnesota Residents at Risk
There’s little doubt that those who personally have used glyphosate and/or Roundup, whether by applying it to farm fields, spraying it on a sports field or using it to control weeds around the yard are at the greatest risk. A California jury in 2018 awarded a huge verdict to a man who worked as a school groundskeeper and regularly used Roundup as part of his job.
But working directly with the chemical is not the only way to become exposed to it at potentially dangerous levels, as both private and government testing have detected the presence of glyphosate residue in dozens of food products, including cereal, oats, snack bars, beer and wine. Plus, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was unable to adequately test for the substance before 2016, the truth is that it’s impossible to know how many people have been exposed without their knowledge.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Minnesota
Nearly 12,000 lawsuits are either under way or pending against Monsanto, which invented Roundup, and Bayer AG, the company that now owns the St. Louis-based agrochemical giant. These new trials come on the heels of the major verdict last fall in which a California man was awarded $289 million by jury members, who determined that Roundup had caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that Monsanto hid the dangers of its products from the public.
That award was later reduced by a judge and the case is currently under appeal, but that decision was just the first of many closely watched cases around the country, including multiple trials that have recently gotten under way or soon will in several states.
The 2018 verdict and the new trials have had ripple effects throughout the country, as more people have become aware of the dangers of Roundup and are consulting with attorneys to determine their options. For those in Minnesota, that means that the sooner you act, the better. Though the state has some of the most consumer-friendly product liability statutes, for those who became sick after using Roundup, now is the time to act.
Minnesota lawmakers have set a four-year time limit for product liability, which means that you have 48 months from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit. If you or a loved one regularly used or were otherwise exposed to Roundup and have been diagnosed with a serious illness, including cancer, you should consult with a qualified local attorney who can examine your case and help you plan the best way forward.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
While glyphosate and Roundup are not officially considered cancer-causing by the U.S. government, that was not always the case, and multiple organizations, including one international cancer group, have determined glyphosate does cause cancer in humans.
Until 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, but the agency changed its position that year, and use of glyphosate soon begin skyrocketing. Today, both the state of California and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Additionally, multiple medical studies and analysis projects have tied the substance to cancer and other serious illnesses that affect thousands of people across the state of Minnesota, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Thyroid cancer
How to File a Minnesota Roundup Lawsuit
For those in Minnesota who used or were regularly exposed to Roundup and/or glyphosate and are now seriously ill, the time is now to ensure that you are able to seek all the damages to which you are legally entitled.
Monsanto and Bayer are facing thousands of lawsuits, but only a qualified local attorney can review your case and determine whether you should be among those thousands of cases.
Minnesota Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
The Ruth Law Team
- Location: Petersburg, Florida; St. Paul, Minnesota
- Website: https://getjustice.com/cases/unsafe-products-medications/roundup-weed-killer-attorneys-lawsuits/
- Phone number: 888-380-3315
- Location: Paul, Minnesota
- Website: https://www.johnsonbecker.com/product-liability/roundup-lawyer-lawsuits-moving-forward/
- Phone number: 800-279-6386
- 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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