Agriculture and related activities contribute nearly $20 billion to Oklahoma’s economy every year, and about 1 in 8 jobs is tied in some way to farming. The state is one of the top livestock-producing states in the nation and also ranks highly in production of several crops, including wheat, hay and cotton.
With farming taking such a central position in the economic health of the state and touching so many lives, it’s no wonder why many people across the Sooner State are growing more concerned about their exposure to a highly controversial weed killer, Roundup.
Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, are at the center of a legal, regulatory and legislative firestorm, with multiple recent court judgments bolstering the claim that the herbicide is not safe for humans.
Two California juries have connected glyphosate and Roundup to cancer, and several independent studies have done the same. For Oklahoma residents who may have been exposed to glyphosate either through their involvement in farming or through other means, it’s important to understand how the chemical is used in our state and what regulations govern consumers’ ability to seek legal recourse.
Glyphosate Use in Oklahoma
Nearly 4 million pounds of glyphosate was used to kill weeds in farming operations throughout Oklahoma in 2016, putting the state in the top 25 of total glyphosate use during that year. While the state’s usage of glyphosate did see a decline from the previous year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey data, usage of the weed killer in Oklahoma has surged by about 4,500 percent since 1992.
The diverse nature of farming in Oklahoma means that several different types of crops are treated with glyphosate in our state. Here’s a look at how the 2016 usage broke down by crop:
- Corn: 4%
- Soybeans: 8%
- Wheat: 41%
- Cotton: 17%
- Alfalfa: 1%
- Pasture & hay: 14%
- All other crops: 15%
Oklahoma is a top 25 state for several of the crops that are the most common glyphosate targets nationally, including wheat (5th), hay (5th), cotton (5th), oats (21st), soybeans (22nd) and alfalfa (24th). Oklahoma’s 78,100 farming operations puts the state in fourth place among all states for number of farms.
The USGS data can tell us how much glyphosate has been used in Oklahoma farming since 1992, but that information tells only one part of the story. Roundup is a popular tool for professional farmers to control weeds, but it’s also in widespread use in other commercial applications, such as professional landscaping and groundskeeping. Many cities and towns across the country use it to control weeds in public spaces, and homeowners use it regularly to control weeds around their properties.
Oklahoma Residents at Risk
If you have personally used Roundup or glyphosate to treat crops or kill weeds around your property or as part of your job, you are the kind of person who is most at risk in Oklahoma. You’re part of a group that includes homeowners, landlords, groundskeepers, farm laborers, food-processing workers and landscapers, among others.
But those who have had hands-on exposure to Roundup or glyphosate are not the only people in our state at risk for potentially damaging exposure to this herbicide. That’s because multiple rounds of testing have detected varying levels of glyphosate in dozens of food products, from breakfast cereals and oats to beer, wine and orange juice.
Some of the recent testing was done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which discovered glyphosate in about half the samples it tested, but notably the test did not even cover products made from two major glyphosate crops, wheat and oats.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Oklahoma
Nearly 12,000 cases are pending against Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, and Monsanto’s new parent company, Bayer AG, the German-based pharma giant. The companies already have been on the receiving end of two major jury verdicts in California that tied their product to cancer diagnoses in two men.
The first of those two verdicts came in the fall of 2018 when a jury sided with Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup for work for years. The second trial, which is proceeding into its second phase, involved a Sonoma County, California resident who used Roundup regularly to treat weeds and other noxious plants on this property and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015. The next phase of that trial will determine whether Monsanto should be held legally liable for the man’s cancer and, if so, what damages he should receive.
For Oklahoma residents either involved in farming or who otherwise have used or been exposed to Roundup or glyphosate, it’s important to understand your rights. Oklahoma has some of the least consumer-friendly product liability laws in the nation, with the state setting a two-year time limit for such lawsuits. This means that if you or a loved one used Roundup and later were diagnosed with a serious illness, you could have as little as 24 months to begin legal action.
As the cases currently underway continue to make their way through the courts, there’s no doubt that awareness of this issue will continue to grow and more plaintiffs will file lawsuits against Monsanto and Bayer. Currently, these cases are not grouped as a class action, which means the only way to lay claim to damages is to begin with a consultation with a qualified attorney who is an expert in such situations.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
While a pair of juries in California have been convinced that Roundup contributes to the development of cancer, they are far from the first or only groups to have come to that conclusion. Glyphosate is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a substance that doesn’t cause cancer when it’s used according to the product’s instructions. But both the state of California through a regulatory decision as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer have ruled that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
Additionally, several studies have connected Roundup and/or glyphosate to adverse health outcomes and serious diseases, including many that impact people across Oklahoma every day, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
How to File an Oklahoma Roundup Lawsuit
Consulting with a qualified Oklahoma attorney who is well-educated on the issues surrounding Roundup and glyphosate is the best way to ensure that if you or a loved one have used Roundup and later been diagnosed with a serious illness that you will be able to seek the damages to which you may be entitled.
Oklahoma law has likely limited your window to seek legal action, so the time to act is now for those who are sick because they used Roundup.
Oklahoma Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
The following attorneys handle roundup cancer lawsuit cases in Oklahoma:
Carr & Carr
- Location: Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Website: https://www.carrcarr.com/roundup-lawsuit/
- Phone number: 888-823-8631
Graves & McLain
- Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Website: https://www.gravesmclain.com/roundup/
- Phone number: 539-777-1870
- 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, Oklahoma Agriculture Statistics, 2017. (2017.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Oklahoma/Publications/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/ok-pocket-facts-2017.pdf
- Oklahoma State University, Contribution of Agriculture
- to Oklahoma’s Economy: 2015. (2015.) http://factsheets.okstate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/E-1046-Contibution-of-Ag-to-Economy.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
- Environmental Working Group, Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup? (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/childrenshealth/glyphosateincereal/
- 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 induced cell death through apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms. (2012.) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22504123
- 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
- WeedKillerCrisis.com, Shocking Report Shows Weedkiller Ingredient Glyphosate Causing Americans to Be Sicker and Dying Younger. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.weedkillercrisis.com/topics/glyphosate-report-2019/