Agriculture contributes nearly $2 billion every year to the economy of Wyoming, and farming employs more than 18,000 Wyoming residents. The state is well-known for its livestock production, but it’s also a major producer of several crops, from barley to corn.
Farming is Wyoming’s third-largest industry and provides a way of life for thousands of people all across our state. The importance of farming and the widespread involvement of Wyoming residents in agriculture are leading many people in the state to become concerned about their exposure to a controversial and potentially deadly herbicide that’s commonly used in farming operations in Wyoming.
Glyphosate, often referred to by the brand name Roundup, is the most popular weed killer chemical in human history, with hundreds of millions of pounds of the substance sprayed on farms across the United States every year. The chemical is also widely used in Wyoming for farming, as well as being a popular product for killing weeds in residential areas.
The product is the subject of thousands of lawsuits, including at least one filed in February 2019 in Wyoming, that allege the weed killer causes or contributes to the development of a form of cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Wyoming residents who have used or been exposed to Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, should know what rights they may have to claim damages against Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, and Monsanto’s new parent company, Bayer AG, the Germany-based pharma giant.
Glyphosate Use in Wyoming
Glyphosate use by farmers in Wyoming surpassed 350,000 pounds in 2016 alone, though that figure is lower than the record level recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2013. Still, glyphosate use in Wyoming has surged more than 2,000 percent since 1992, according to the USGS data.
Roundup and glyphosate are so popular in farming because the herbicide can be used on a huge range of products, and that usage pattern largely tracks with how the substance was used for farming in our state in 2016. Here’s a look at how the glyphosate Wyoming farmers used that year was sorted by crop:
- Corn: 43%
- Wheat: 6%
- Fruits & veggies: 1%
- Alfalfa: 1%
- Pasture & hay: 30%
- All other crops: 19%
Wyoming is a major producer of barley (7th), wheat (33rd) and corn (35th), and the state is a major producer of several types of farm animals, including sheep and lambs (4th) and bee colonies (16th).
Getting a glimpse at the USGS data can be shocking, as a 2,000 percent increase in any chemical used to grow food is difficult to swallow. But keep in mind that the USGS data lists just one source of glyphosate use in our state, as it counts only the glyphosate used for farming operations. Missing from the equation are at-home use, glyphosate used in non-farming commercial operations (like professional landscaping) and the Roundup that many state, city and local governments use to control weeds in public spaces.
Featured Glyphosate Graph
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Wyoming clearly is impacted by its agricultural application.
Wyoming Residents at Risk
People in our state who have personally sprayed Roundup and/or glyphosate on weeds in their lawns, parks or other properties or on farm crops no doubt are the ones who are under the highest risk of developing cancer or another serious illness. That’s because the substance can easily drip onto clothing and skin, and it’s even possible to inhale the vapors or accidentally ingest some of the chemical.
But even those who have never touched a bottle of Roundup potentially could have been exposed to it regularly for years because of its presence in the food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s official testing found glyphosate residue in about half of the food products the agency tested, and the tests didn’t even include wheat or oat products, and those two crops are very commonly treated with glyphosate. Other independent tests have shown glyphosate residue in beer, wine, orange juice, snack bars, oatmeal, breakfast cereals and many other products that can be purchased at your local grocery store.
Plus, the FDA did not even have an effective test for glyphosate residue in food until just a few years ago, so it’s truly impossible to fully gauge the general public’s potential past exposure.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Wyoming
A Lander, Wyoming resident filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that his years of using Roundup to kill weeds around his property contributed to his development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The man, Jace Florquist, was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and says he’s traced his cancer to use of Roundup between 2008 and 2014 and that he was exposed to the weed killer long before that because his neighbor used the product as well. In addition to seeking damages related to his diagnosis, Florquist alleges that Monsanto has long known its product causes cancer and that the company pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to change how it classified glyphosate, which the agency did in the early 1990s, switching glyphosate from a probable carcinogen to non-carcinogenic.
Florquist’s lawsuit joins the nearly 12,000 lawsuits that have been filed all across the United States in which plaintiffs make claims similar to Florquist’s — that Roundup causes cancer, that Monsanto has known as much and that the company has acted inappropriately in promoting the product and its alleged safety.
Already in California, two separate verdicts have been reached in which jury members were convinced by plaintiffs’ evidence that Roundup caused or contributed to both men developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is the same claim made by the Wyoming man.
For Wyoming residents who believe they have gotten sick because they used Roundup, state law could limit the time you have to file a lawsuit. Wyoming has some of the most consumer-friendly product liability laws in the nation, but the state sets a four-year time limit in such cases.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
Monsanto’s claims that its product is safe are challenged by multiple organizations and a growing body of scientific and medical evidence that tie Roundup not only to non-Hodgkin lymphoma but other forms of cancer and other major conditions and diseases, such as:
- Childhood brain cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Breast cancer
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer both list glyphosate as probable human carcinogens, and the EPA concurred up until the early 1990s.
How to File a Wyoming Roundup Lawsuit
Wyoming residents who have personally used Roundup in agriculture, landscaping or at home and have since become seriously ill or been diagnosed with cancer or any other major health problem should seek a consultation with a qualified local attorney who can evaluate their case and help them decide what damages they may be entitled to seek.
Wyoming Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Spence Law Firm
- Location: Jackson and Casper, Wyoming
- Website: https://www.spencelawyers.com/products-liability/
- Phone number: 844-447-5497
Ochs Law Firm
- Location: Jackson, Casper and Teton Village, Wyoming
- Website: https://www.wyominginjuryattorney.com/
- Phone number: 307-739-3959
- 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
- Casper Star-Tribune, Lander man files lawsuit against Monsanto, claims Roundup weed killer caused his cancer/ (2019.) Retrieved from https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/health/lander-man-files-lawsuit-against-monsanto-claims-roundup-weed-killer/article_9539bf77-e1b9-581a-a585-f2865341262f.html
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2018 Wyoming Agricultural Statistics. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Ag_Overview/stateOverview.php?state=WYOMING
- Wyoming Business Council, Agriculture & Food Products. (2017.) Retrieved from http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/Uploads/DocumentLibrary/Agribusiness/agfood_profile_2017_F2.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
- 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
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Questions and Answers on Glyphosate. (2018.) Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/pesticides/ucm583713.htm