As the corporate home of agrochemical giant Monsanto, Missouri residents are no strangers to controversy surrounding the company. Since the fall 2018 California verdict in which a former school groundskeeper was awarded $289 million after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, about 12,000 lawsuits are targeting the company and its blockbuster weed killer Roundup.
In addition to being the home state of Monsanto, Missouri is also a leading agricultural producer and one of the top users of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, for farming operations.
That’s why many across the state are closely watching these cases, including at least two that are set to get underway soon in St. Louis. If you are a Missouri resident concerned for your health because of your exposure to Roundup and/or glyphosate, it’s important to understand how this substance is used in our state and what your legal rights may be.
Glyphosate Use in Missouri
According to U.S. Geological Survey data, farmers in Missouri used 11 million pounds of glyphosate in 2016, placing the state 10th overall of all states in terms of total volume used. The 2016 figure was an increase from the level recorded in 2015, though it was down slightly from the peak recorded in 2014. That 11 million number also represents an incredible 3,075 percent increase overall between 1992 and 2016.
Glyphosate is the single most popular herbicide used in farming throughout the world, as Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready seeds are used to grow many different crops, including corn, soybeans and wheat. Many of these crops are grown right here in Missouri. Here’s a look at how the glyphosate used for farming in Missouri in 2016 was divided by crop:
- Corn: 30%
- Soybeans: 61%
- Cotton: 6%
- Rice: 2%
- Hay: 1%
Missouri’s agriculture industry produces an estimated $88 billion in annual economic impact and employs about 400,000 people across the state. Missouri ranks as a top producer of several products, including rice (fourth), hay (sixth), soybeans (sixth), corn (ninth) and cotton (10th).
With such deep farming roots, it’s understandable why so many people across the state are becoming more concerned about their exposure to Roundup and glyphosate, but it’s important to keep in mind that the glyphosate usage figures we’ve reported here tell only one part of the story. After all, not only is glyphosate the weed killer of choice for farmers, but it’s in wide use for other commercial operations, such as landscaping, as well as being used by homeowners to control weeds on their properties.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Missouri clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Missouri Residents at Risk
There’s no doubting that those who have physically used glyphosate and Roundup, whether for farming, controlling weeds in public spaces or killing unwanted plants around the yard, are at the highest risk of possibly dangerous exposure to the herbicide.
But multiple rounds of testing, including by the federal government, have found that glyphosate residue is present in dozens and dozens of different food products, so it’s likely that even those who have never personally used Roundup have nonetheless been exposed to it.
Plus, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not develop a test for glyphosate until 2016, it’s impossible to truly know how many everyday consumers were exposed to the substance without their knowledge.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Missouri
Two trials are expected to get underway in St. Louis, one in city court and the other in county court, this year. Those cases come on the heels of the landmark jury verdict that awarded a huge sum to a California groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup regularly as part of his job.
Bayer AG, which now owns Monsanto, has confirmed that it’s facing nearly 12,000 other lawsuits targeting Roundup and glyphosate. In that 2018 California decision, not only did the jury agree that the man’s cancer was because of Roundup but that Monsanto and Bayer hid the dangers of their product from consumers.
For Missouri residents who are concerned for their health after using or being exposed to Roundup, their time to seek legal action may be limited by state law. While the state has one of the more consumer-friendly time limits, five years, it’s still crucial to consult a qualified local attorney as soon as possible, as that’s the best way to have your case evaluated.
Some plaintiffs around the country have sought class-action status, though most of them have been denied so far, which means that the cases that are proceeding are doing so on their own merits. While this could mean large jury verdicts, it also means that the burden is on individuals who have been harmed by this product to step forward and have their day in court.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
Monsanto has said for years that Roundup and glyphosate are perfectly safe for humans and animals, but a growing scientific body of evidence is threatening that view. In recent years, multiple studies and analysis projects have linked Roundup and/or glyphosate to cancers and other serious illnesses, including:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
The U.S. government’s official position mirrors that of Monsanto, which is that glyphosate is most likely not carcinogenic. But that’s far from a consensus view, as both the state of California and the World Health Organization disagree and have classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
How to File a Missouri Roundup Lawsuit
As one of the key fronts in the battle against Monsanto and Roundup, Missouri residents should know what rights they have to seek justice against the company for its potentially deadly product.
Missourians have five years from the date of injury to file product liability claims, so for those who have used Roundup for years and are now sick, there’s no time to waste. Contact a qualified local attorney, who can review your case and help you determine the best way to seek the legal damages to which you may be entitled.
Missouri Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
- Location: Louis, Missouri
- Website: https://www.onderlaw.com/products-liability/roundup-cancer.aspx
- Phone number: 314-963-9000
- Location: Louis, Missouri
- Website: https://burgerlaw.com/personal-injury-claims/roundup-cancer-claims/
- Phone number: 866-599-2222
- World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of
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