Agriculture and related industries make the state of Oregon about $50 billion richer every year, and those same industries employ more than 1 in 10 Oregonians. As a diverse agricultural state, Oregon farmers produce more than 220 commodities, and the state is among the nation’s leaders several agricultural products, from cut Christmas trees to wheat.
Farming’s central role in the economy of the state and the day-to-day lives of thousands of people across the state of Oregon have many people in our state rightly concerned about their possible contact with a controversial and legally disputed weed killer, glyphosate.
Often referred to by the brand name Roundup, glyphosate is the active ingredient in an herbicide that’s very widely used in farming as well as being one of the most popular products for killing weeds outside of the farm field, with millions of Americans using the spray on weeds around their homes and municipalities using it to kill vegetation in parks and sports fields.
Oregonians who have been exposed to or personally used Roundup and have concerns about their health should learn more about the issues surrounding Roundup and glyphosate as well as how the product is used in our state.
Glyphosate Use in Oregon
Just short of 1 million pounds of glyphosate were used for farming operations in Oregon in 2016, which is the most recent year available in the data reported by the U.S. Geological Survey, the government agency that estimates pesticide use in the continental states. While Oregon farmers used less glyphosate in 2016 than they had the year before, the state has seen a huge 274 percent increase overall since 1992.
The versatility of Roundup and the availability of Roundup-ready seed, which enables farmers to spray their entire fields with Roundup in hopes of improving yields, mean that the weed killer is used to treat a very wide variety of different crops, and that usage pattern plays out in Oregon. Here’s a look at which crops received the most glyphosate in our state in 2016:
- Corn: 6%
- Wheat: 7%
- Fruits & veggies: 7%
- Orchards & grapes: 5%
- Alfalfa: 1%
- Pasture & hay: 73%
- All other crops: 1%
Oregon is one of the leading producers of several of the crops on that list, which helps explain its usage in our state. The state is a key producer of such crops as hay (7th), wheat (12th), pears (2nd) and blackberries (1st).
The USGS data is interesting, but it’s limiting because it shows only the glyphosate used in farming. This is just one slice of a much larger pie, given how popular Roundup and glyphosate are among homeowners, professional landscapers and municipalities and local governments.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Oregon clearly is impacted by its agricultural application.
Oregon Residents at Risk
There’s no doubt that those who have personally applied glyphosate or Roundup are at the highest risk level when it comes to developing a Roundup-related illness, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma or other types of cancers. That’s because these individuals may have had skin exposure to the product when its spray dripped on them, or they may have accidentally inhaled vapors or even ingested the product if it got near their mouths.
While such people are likely to have the highest risk of potential negative health outcomes as a result of using Roundup, the truth is they are not the only ones who have cause for concern over their possible contact. That’s because glyphosate is also in the food supply, according to multiple examinations done by both private and public groups, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Those tests have found glyphosate in dozens of food products that can be purchased at grocery stores, including breakfast cereal, oats, snack bars, wine, beer and orange juice.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Oregon
Juries in two separate California cases have determined that two longtime Roundup users developed cancer because they used the herbicide regularly. Not only that, but Bayer AG, the company that now owns Roundup, has reported that it’s facing nearly 12,000 similar roundup cancer lawsuits in which people allege they’ve gotten sick because they used Roundup and/or were exposed to unreasonable levels of risk by using the product.
The California case in which major damages have been awarded (the other case is not yet over) included a nine-figure judgment in favor of the plaintiff, a former school groundskeeper whose cancer is terminal. While that sum was later reduced to a third by a judge, the blockbuster verdict is helping spread the word about the dangers of glyphosate.
For those in Oregon who may have regularly used Roundup or glyphosate, the time to consider legal action is now. Oregon has some of the least consumer-friendly product liability limitations in the nation, with statute permitting just a two-year time limit. That means if you’ve gotten sick because you used Roundup, you have just 24 months when you learn of your Roundup-caused illness to bring legal action.
While the thousands of cases work their way through the system, it’s important to note that so far, they are not being tied together as a class action, which means that each case that proceeds will do so on its own merits.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
In addition to the two California juries that have been convinced that Roundup causes cancer, an expanding body of medical evidence is supporting that claim. Medical and scientific research has tied Roundup not only to non-Hodgkin lymphoma but to other types of cancer and serious diseases that affect people all across Oregon, including:
- Childhood brain cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
The chorus of voices against Roundup and glyphosate include the state of California itself and a division of the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, both of which officially have classified glyphosate as a human carcinogen.
How to File an Oregon Roundup Lawsuit
For Oregon residents who have regularly used or been exposed to Roundup or glyphosate, particularly over long periods of time, the window to act may be closing. State law permits just two years to file product liability claims, so if you are now sick because of your use of Roundup, you have little time to waste.
Keep in mind that the current cases facing Bayer and Monsanto do not yet have class-action status, so the only way to have your day in court and seek justice for you and your family is to consult with a qualified local attorney who can review your case.
Oregon Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Elmer & Brunot
- Location: Salem, Oregon
- Website: https://www.elmerlaw.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/product-liability/
- Phone number: 505-563-7035
Nelson MacNeil Rayfield
- Location: Albany, Corvallis and Portland, Oregon
- Website: https://www.nelsonmacneil.com/product-liability/
- Phone number: 877-928-9147
- 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 Oregon Agricultural Statistics. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=OREGON
- Oregon Farm Bureau, Did you know? (Undated.) Retrieved from https://oregonfb.org/about/oregon-agriculture/
- 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
- Moms Across America, Breakfast Favorite Orange Juice Tainted by Glyphosate Herbicide. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.momsacrossamerica.com/orange_juice_postive_for_glyphosate_again
- 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