Monsanto and its parent company Bayer AG are facing more class action lawsuits against its product Roundup and key ingredient glyphosate. Most of the lawsuits claim that the toxic ingredient caused the plaintiffs to develop Non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma or another type of cancer. Below is more information on three of the current class action lawsuits in process.
Bob’s Red Mill Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Toxic Weed Killer Contamination
Bob’s Red Mill is dealing with a federal class-action lawsuit that was filed in September in 2018 in San Francisco. This was after glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – was found in both the company’s organic and inorganic oats. (1).
According to a recent report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), that found traces of glyphosate in Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other common, oat-based cereals, plaintiffs Tamara Frankel and Natasha Paracha stated that Bob’s Red Mill was aware that its oats contained traces of the chemical but did not put the disclosure on the label.
Rather, they argued, the company labeled the produces with words that included ‘gluten-free,’ ‘wheat free’ and ‘purity tested.’ These phrases led customers to think that the oats contained in the products were healthy.
The complaint (2) stated that consumers should be able to have a reasonable expectation that material product information, such as the existence of glyphosate in the product, should be provided on the label by the manufacturer. This is especially true when the company has identified various health-related attributes of the products, including ‘gluten-free,’ ‘whole grain’ and ‘friend of the heart,’ according to the complaint. It also stated that the labeling of the products is ‘misleading half-truths.’
Frankel and Paracha further noted in the complaint that Bob’s Red Mill had a legal duty to disclose glyphosate being present in its oats, and that glyphosate is probably a human carcinogen, as consumers lack easy access to this information. They seek a court order that blocks the company from continuing the advertise their products as healthy.
They also want to certify classes of consumers in CA, FL, IL, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY and WA.
Florida Woman Sues General Mills for Not Revealing Glyphosate Presence in Cheerios
Monsanto was ordered by the jury in a San Francisco trial to pay $289 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was most likely caused by the weed killer Roundup. Days later, a woman in Florida sued General Mills for not revealing the presence of glyphosate in its Cheerios brands (3).
Plaintiff Mounira Doss claimed that Cheerios contains 470 to 530 PPB of glyphosate. The EPA has set a safe level of glyphosate at 30,000 PPB, but the Environmental Working Group states its safe level benchmark is 160 PPB.
After that case was filed a spokesperson for General Mills stated that the company’s products are safe and are in full compliance with regulatory safety levels.
Former Hawaii Coffee Farmer and 300 Others Suing Monsanto
A former Hawaii, Big Island coffee farmer is just one among 300 people who sued Monsanto in March 2018 because the company’s widely sold weed killer, may cause cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (4).
The federal judge in San Francisco started to review claims in March that Roundup could lead to cancer. The judge heard from experts to decide if there was enough scientific evidence to show that the chemical can lead to cancer.
Christine Sheppard, 68, was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. She was given six months to live. She stated during the lawsuit that she sprayed Roundup for several years to control the weeds on her coffee farm. Sheppard is now in remission, but she still suffers from severe pain in her hands and legs from her intense cancer treatments.
Companies Seeking ‘Glyphosate Free Certification’ in the Wake of Lawsuits
The growing number of class action lawsuits against food companies is understandably alarming to food companies. Some are seeking The Detox Project’s Glyphosate Free certification. According to the organization’s director Henry Rowlands, they have 15 brands that are certified to be free of glyphosate residue, and more than 50 brands that have been in contact about getting approved this year. (5).
- 1. Bobs Red Mill Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Glyphosate Weedkiller Contamination. (2018). Retrieved from https://sustainablepulse.com/2018/09/05/bobs-red-mill-faces-class-action-lawsuit-over-glyphosate-weedkiller-contamination/#.XBA6plVKiUk
- 2. Red Mill Case PDF (2018). Retrieved from https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/RedMill.pdf
- 3. 5 Lawsuits That Could Change the Food Industry. (2018). https://www.fooddive.com/news/5-lawsuits-that-could-change-the-food-industry/542525/
- 4. Former Big Island Coffee Farmer Among 300 People Suing Agribusiness Giant Monsanto. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.kitv.com/story/37651866/former-big-island-coffee-farmer-among-300-people-suing-agribusiness-giant-monsanto
- 5. Glyphosate-Free Certification. (2018). Retrieved from https://detoxproject.org/certification/