Agriculture is a hugely crucial industry in the state of Wisconsin. Agriculture contributes more than $88 billion every year to the state’s economy and accounts for about 1 in 10 jobs in the state.
Wisconsin is the leading producer of cheese in the United States, but it’s also home to many plant crops, such as cranberries, apples, cherries and more. So it should be no surprise to learn that Wisconsin is one of the top 15 states when it comes to glyphosate use in agriculture.
Glyphosate, frequently referred to by the name brand Roundup, is a potent weed killer that’s been tied to serious health problems by medical researchers, data analysts, an international health organization, the state of California and a jury that awarded a man nearly $300 million in damages because he developed terminal cancer after using Roundup regularly. In fact, a major lawsuit has already been filed in the state of Wisconsin challenging Roundup’s safety.
Millions of pounds of glyphosate were dumped on farms throughout the state of Wisconsin in 2016, and the state saw glyphosate use jump by 7 percent between 2015 and 2016.
Considering Wisconsin’s position as a key agricultural state and in light of the widespread use of glyphosate across the state, many in Wisconsin are understandably concerned about their own exposure and its effect on their health.
Glyphosate Use in Wisconsin
While the state of Wisconsin isn’t the biggest glyphosate customer in the nation, the state is a top 15 user of glyphosate in farming operations, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. In fact, nearly 6.2 million pounds of the substance were used for Wisconsin agriculture in 2016.
Not only has glyphosate usage risen in the short term, it’s utterly surged in the long term, with the amount of glyphosate being used in farming across the state jumping by more than 2,500 percent between 1992 and 2016. More glyphosate was used in Wisconsin in 2016 than any other year on record, and usage has risen every year since 2014.
Most of the glyphosate in use on Wisconsin crops is being sprayed on corn. Here’s a breakdown of where 2016’s glyphosate went:
- Corn: 60%
- Soybeans: 37%
- Wheat: 1%
- Fruits and vegetables: 1%
- All other crops: 1%
Wisconsin is well-known for its dairy and cheese production, with dairy, livestock and poultry accounting for more than two-thirds of the total value of agriculture in the state, which topped $10 billion in 2016. But crop production in Wisconsin is also huge and growing, as the state posted crop sales of more than $3.4 billion in 2016, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.
The state is the No. 1 producer of cheese in the United States, but it’s also at or near the head of the pack in many other agricultural products. Here’s a look at where Wisconsin stands among other states for some select agricultural commodities and how much the state produced in 2016:
- Cheese (excluding cottage cheese): 1st; 3.2 billion pounds
- Milk: 2nd; 30 billion pounds
- Milk goats: 1st; 44,000 head
- Corn for grain: 8th; 573 million bushels
- Corn for silage: 1st; 16.6 million tons
- Cranberries: 1st; 6.1 million barrels
- Oats: 4th; 6.6 million bushels
- Soybeans: 12th; 107 million bushels
Certainly those who have worked for many years in agriculture are the ones most likely to have been exposed to dangerous levels of glyphosate. But others, including many non-farm workers, also have probably been exposed. Such people could include groundskeepers, landscapers, gardeners and even everyday Wisconsin citizens. In addition to its place at the very top of the herbicide list, Roundup is a very popular weed killer on the consumer market. Thousands around Wisconsin have likely sprayed Roundup in their yards, and it’s frequently used to kill weeds in public spaces, such as parks and school sports fields.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Wisconsin clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Wisconsin Residents at Risk
While those who have worked directly in farming operations or who have frequently used Roundup to kill weeds in their yards are the ones most likely to have come into contact with glyphosate by inhaling it, touching it or accidentally ingesting it, many others around Wisconsin have probably been exposed unknowingly for years. That’s because, as multiple rounds of testing have shown, glyphosate residue is in our food supply.
Several separate research groups have conducted tests on foods ranging from breakfast cereal and oatmeal to wine and beer. These tests have repeatedly shown that glyphosate residue is present. These findings aren’t the only issues that paint a dangerous picture; until 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for ensuring that harmful products aren’t available for public consumption without restriction, did not even have a way to test for glyphosate residue. So it’s very likely people all over Wisconsin have been undergoing regular glyphosate exposure for decades without knowing it.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Wisconsin
A class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin in 2017, alleging that Roundup’s labeling is misleading, as it claims the product is not harmful to people or animals because of its chemical composition. While a court did not certify the suit as a class action, the complaint has not been dismissed, so the Wisconsin case is still alive.
Wisconsin residents who have had repeated exposure to Roundup or glyphosate and now are seriously ill should know that their window for seeking legal recourse may close soon. The state of Wisconsin sets a three-year time limit in cases of product liability. What that means is that if you have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness as a result of your frequent exposure to Roundup or glyphosate, you have only three years from the date of your diagnosis to bring a roundup cancer lawsuit.
A California jury in 2018 awarded a former groundskeeper $289 million after jury members determined that his terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the body’s lymph system, had been caused by his repeated exposure to Roundup and glyphosate. An agreement reached later lowered the amount that Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, is liable for to $78 million.
Not only did the jury find that Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer AG, make a product that causes cancer, but they also found that the companies failed to disclose the true harm and risk associated with using their product.
Bayer and Monsanto are facing more than 9,000 other lawsuits alleging that Roundup causes serious health problems, and most of these cases are not class actions. While that stands to benefit consumers who have been irreversibly harmed by this product, Wisconsin’s product liability statute means that the time to decide whether you should pursue legal action is now.
So while your case, if it were to go to trial or a settlement, would likely proceed on its own merits and not as a class action, you must take the step of contacting a qualified local attorney before you can proceed and seek justice for you or your loved one.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
It’s the official stance of the American government that glyphosate does not cause cancer, but this is far from a consensus position. In fact, the World Health Organization and its International Agency for Cancer Research, the state of California and formerly the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) itself all believe glyphosate is a carcinogen. The EPA listed the substance as a cancer-causing agent until 1991, when the agency reversed its position, clearing the way for glyphosate to be used from coast to coast.
In addition to glyphosate’s classification as a carcinogen among many official agencies, medical studies and analyses have determined that Roundup and glyphosate can be tied to several serious health issues that affect thousands all over the state of Wisconsin.
Here’s a look at just some of the disease, including multiple forms of cancer, that research has connected to Roundup and glyphosate:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Childhood brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
How to File a Wisconsin Roundup Lawsuit
Wisconsin residents who had frequent exposure to Roundup or glyphosate and have been diagnosed with a serious disease, including any form of cancer, should consult a qualified local Wisconsin attorney for assistance.
Most of the pending cases, including the case in Wisconsin, are not class actions, so every individual’s case is unique, and only an attorney can help you determine whether you have a strong case to make against Monsanto and Bayer AG. Remember that you have only three years from when you first find out that Roundup has caused your cancer or other serious illness, so the clock may be ticking.
Wisconsin Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Keberle, Patrykus & Laufenberg
- Location: West Bend, Wisconsin
- Website: https://www.westbendlawyers.com/wisconsin-roundup-cancer-lawyers/
- Phone number: 800-529-1110
Alpert & Fellows
- Location: Wisconsin
- Website: https://www.alpertfellowslaw.com/Personal-Injury/
- Phone number: 866-376-8603
- 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
- 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/
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017 State Agriculture Overview, Wisconsin. (2017.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Wisconsin/Publications/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/2017AgStats_web.pdf
- State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics. (Undated.) Retrieved from https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Publications/WIAgStatistics.aspx
- Bloomberg, Monsanto Roundup Attacks Healthy Gut Bacteria, Lawsuit Says. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-13/roundup-attacks-gut-bacteria-in-people-and-pets-lawsuit-alleges
- Bloomberg Law, Monsanto Won’t Face Quick Appeal in Roundup Label Class Suit. (2019.) Retrieved from https://news.bloomberglaw.com/product-liability-and-toxics-law/monsanto-wont-face-quick-appeal-in-roundup-label-class-suit
- Environmental Working Group, Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup? (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/childrenshealth/glyphosateincereal/
- 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
- Moms Across America, Breakfast Favorite Orange Juice Tainted by Glyphosate Herbicide. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.momsacrossamerica.com/orange_juice_postive_for_glyphosate_again