Monsanto Sued by Cancer Patients

September 30, 2015 02:55 PM
Monsanto Sued by Cancer Patients

Plaintiffs in California, and New York claim Monsanto’s popular herbicide Roundup gave them cancer.

Two agricultural workers diagnosed with cancer are now suing the St. Louis-based biotechnology company, claiming Monsanto is intentionally misleading when it advertises Roundup as a safe product.

In one of two separate lawsuits filed Sept. 22 in New York and California federal court, plaintiff Enrique Rubio, a 58-year-old farm worker in California, Texas and Oregon, claims he was exposed to glyphosate for 11 years while working in vegetable fields. In the second lawsuit, plaintiff Judi Fitzgerald, of Virginia, says she worked in a greenhouse where glyphosate was used for four years. Rubio has bone cancer, and Fitzgerald has chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In March, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found there is “convincing evidence” glyphosate can cause cancer in laboratory animals. The IARC had evaluated studies conducted in the U.S., Canada and Sweden that date back to 2001. Based on IARC’s analysis, the agency claimed there is “limited evidence” that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans.

“While sympathetic to individuals experiencing health problems, including those alleged by the plaintiff in this case, we believe glyphosate is safe for human health when used as labeled, and this suit is without merit,” says Monsanto spokesperson Charla Lord. “Decades of experience within agriculture and regulatory reviews using the most extensive worldwide human health databases ever compiled on an agricultural product contradict the claims in the suit, which will be vigorously defended.”

In light of the WHO report labeling glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic,” Monsanto and others involved in the agricultural industry are wondering how decades of data supporting the safety of glyphosate can suddenly change. Similar claims have been made about 2, 4-D, another popular herbicide for row crops and pastures. Earlier this year, IARC said its research suggested 2, 4-D was a “possible carcinogen.”

“This conclusion is inconsistent with the decades of ongoing comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world,” said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto’s chief technology officer, after IARC’s initial statement about glyphosate.



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Spell Check

Michael Bain
Glorieta, NM
10/1/2015 12:49 PM

  On the data, the core issue is who funded the studies the industry claims demonstrate that glyphosate is safe, who funded and influenced the compilation of the data referred to, and who funded the researchers and policymakers who decided what data to use in regulatory efforts. Perhaps the new review by IARC is of unbiased, un-manipulated data by unbiased scientists not captured by the agrichemical industry. Hopefully these cases continue before unbiased judge(s) not captured by the agrichemical industry, who do not buy into straw-man and other illegitimate legal theories, and who put individual and public health before corporate profits. Can we not feed the world without simultaneously poisoning it for the sake of corporate profits?

Thomas R Blakeslee
10/1/2015 03:47 PM

  Since glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic its residue disturbs gut bacteria with terrible long-term health effects. A paper:

Ankeny, IA
9/30/2015 07:22 PM

  Mark, you sound like a really intelligent fellow. Maybe next time do some research before you comment. In the grown up world we talk like we aren't on the 4th grade playground. I would strongly suggest that you research and understand and then open your mouth. Please.


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