Roundup is the most popular weed killer in the world manufactured by Monsanto, and its recent new owner Bayer AG. It is commonly used by farmers, agriculture companies, gardeners, landscapers and even regular homeowners all around the globe to kill and control weeds. But in the last several years, ample evidence has been uncovered that Roundup and its key ingredient glyphosate can cause some forms of cancer, especially Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an often fatal cancer of the lymphatic system. (BBC.com).
Glyphosate – A Possible Lethal Chemical?
Glyphosate has been the active ingredient in the pesticide Roundup and other products by Monsanto for decades. Farmers usually would rather use glyphosate on their various crops because it destroys weeds without crop damage, which means better profit margins. These crops have generally been genetically modified to withstand high levels of glyphosate to be sprayed on them without adverse effect.
But in 2015, the IARC or International Agency for Research on Cancer – an arm of the World Health Organization – stated that glyphosate is a possible human carcinogen. (IARC.fr). The IARC report noted that the chemical may cause cancers in laboratory rats and mice.
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Lawsuits in Process
Many cancer-related lawsuits are in the works today against Monsanto and Bayer AG. They are being brought to federal courts across the nation by groundskeepers, farmers, farm workers and homeowners who worked regularly with Monsanto products and have been diagnosed with various types of cancer, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are produced in bone marrow. They assist the body to fight infections. Patients with CLL produce a high number of lymphocytes that are not functioning properly. CLL mainly affects older Americans, and is approximately ⅓ of all leukemias. Studies suggest that exposure to glyphosate could lead to CLL in some people.
Signs and Symptoms of CLL
It is common for patients with CLL that were exposed to glyphosate to have no signs or symptoms for years. During this time, the damaged cells may spread to other areas of the body – the lymph nodes, spleen and liver. (Mayoclinic.org). This frequently causes the condition to become fatal and treatment is extremely difficult. When the symptoms of disease do appear, they can include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes but with no pain
- Pain in the upper left area of the abdomen – can be due to enlarged spleen
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Infections that keep recurring
Monsanto Lawsuit Alleges CLL Caused by Roundup Exposure
In 2015, a lawsuit was filed by a New York state woman who claimed she developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia after she was exposed to Roundup. The plaintiff, Judi Fitzgerald, worked at a New York company from 1994 to 1998 as a growers assistant. She worked closely to plants regularly sprayed with Roundup in fields and in a greenhouse.
The complaint notes that while Fitzgerald did not apply Roundup herself, she was often within feet of the area where the chemical was sprayed. On several occasions, the woman allegedly became sick within hours of being near the chemical spraying.
In 2012, the woman was diagnosed with CLL. The plaintiff alleges the company did not provide ample warnings about the risks of cancer associated with their products. That complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. (BNA.com).
In another Roundup CLL cancer case, a couple in Arizona alleged a link between the cancer and Roundup that caused the husband to develop the disease.
The Roundup lawsuit states the man, David H. was exposed to the weed killer regularly between 1994 and 2016. He claims the company’s actions hid the risk of exposure to Roundup and the potential to develop CLL. He was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia at the end of 2015. The couple decided to file a lawsuit after they found out the cancer and Roundup could be linked. They discovered this potential bombshell when they read the formal evaluation of glyphosate in July 2015 that was released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). (IARC.fr).
All Roundup Cancer Lawsuits Centralized in California
In 2016, a panel of judges decided to consolidate all federal Monsanto Roundup lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, presided over by Judge Vince Chhabria. The lawsuits allege that the company failed to warn regulators and consumers about the risk of cancer associated with glyphosate exposure.
- Weedkiller Cancer Ruling: What Do We Know About Glyphosate? (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45155788
- IARC Monograph on Glyphosate. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.iarc.fr/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Symptoms. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352428
- Monsanto to Fight Claims Roundup Caused Cancer. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.bna.com/monsanto-fight-claims-n57982059188/