The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

For folks who are concerned with the increasing rates of cancer, birth defects and childhood autism and brain development, may take pause on this recent spate of Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto is exposed to two new cancer lawsuits by farm workers who allege that they developed cancer from the popular Roundup weedkiller and herbicide. Roundup is the world’s most widely used herbicide, with a lion’s share of the market.

toxicEnrique Rubio, was diagnosed with bone cancer after exposure to the weed killer, and filed his claim in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.

Judi Fitzgerald, was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) after exposure to the weed killer, filed her claim in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Monsanto Roundup Cancer Allegations

The Roundup cancer lawsuits, have similar allegations that Monsanto failed to provide warnings about the cancer and other lethal injury risks linked to heavy exposure of the key chemical, glyphosate, in the weed and grass killer Roundup.

Roundup Popular And Widely Used

Roundup is one of the most popular herbicides, which was mass marketed by Monsanto in the 1970s. The weedkiller has always been plagued by concerns about the potential association between Roundup and cancer.

World Health Organization Roundup Cancer Warning

Recently in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced a warning about the human health side effects of glyphosate.

California Lawsuit Facts

According to Rubio, he worked at farms in Oregon, California and Texas from 1986 to 1995, where he sprayed Roundup on crops several times a week using a hand pump sprayer.

In 1995, Rubio was diagnosed with bone cancer, which he claims was caused by Roundup.

New York Lawsuit Facts

According to Fitzgerald, she worked as a Growers Assistant for a New York company from 1994 to 1998, and she was exposed to Roundup both in a greenhouse and in fields.

In 2012, Fitzgerald was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, potentially lethal blood cancer.

Herbicide Glyphosate Cancer Links

The key ingredient in Roundup and similar herbicides is Glyphosate, which blocks a key enzyme in plant growth.

According to the lawsuits, glyphosate is a carcinogen, and that Monsanto knew the herbicide was risky for years. In 1996, the agricultural giant was investigated by the New York Attorney General’s office, for making false and misleading claims about Roundup’s safety.

Monsanto Claimed That “Roundup Is Safer Than Table Salt”

The agricultural company claimed in advertisements that Roundup was “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to animals. The New York AG’s office forced the company in November 1996 to stop making such claims.

Roundup Cancer Risk What’s The Evidence?

In March 2015, the IARC determined that the herbicide glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans.

According to Monsanto, the IARC’s conclusions were agenda-driven and based on “junk science,” and has said it is convening its own independent panel to review the cancer risks of Roundup.

Roundup Explosive Sales

In the mid 1990s, Monsanto sold the controversial genetically engineered crop seeds of soybeans, corn and cotton to withstand herbicide treatment with Roundup. Roundup kills the weeds and not the genetically modified crops.

Because of the widespread and indiscriminate use of Roundup, some weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate. And now, farmers have to use higher amounts of Roundup, further releasing Roundup into the air, polluting our drinking water, lakes and estuaries.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated agricultural use of glyphosate increased dramatically from 110 million pounds in 2002, now to more than 283 million pounds in 2012.

California May Change Warning Labels On Glyphosate Containing Herbicides

California may become the first in the U.S., to require label warnings that glyphosate, is a cancer-causing agent.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s (CAL-EPA) issued a notice of intent recently, that it has decided to list glyphosate as a chemical that is known to cause cancer.

The OEHHA will also add Tetrachlorvinphos, Parathion, and Malathion to the list of cancer causing agents.

No Current Regulation For Roundup Use

Currently now there is no official measurement of glyphosate in any of our drinking water, our foodstuff, or air we breathe. If these allegations survive to a jury verdict, you have to wonder whether a nice green lawn, golf course, park or other green space is worth the increased cancer risk and other serious diseases. How does a world overflowing with cancer and birth defects grab you? You cannot indiscriminately pollute the world and expect no push back.


  1. Gravatar for jello beyonce

    Interestingly, Monsanto is trying to get H.R.1599 - Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 passed on the fast track. Similar for the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    This bill, dubbed the DARK Act, “H.R. 1599 would negate (food safety) laws, and more–according to the Center for Food Safety. The preemption language in the bill would nullify over a hundred local laws that, directly or indirectly, regulate genetically engineered crops.”

    The act also "shields sellers of genetically modified seeds from lawsuits, even if the resulting crops cause harm."

    A study, published by Environmental Sciences Europe, linking GMOs to cancer and liver/kidney damage, as well as severe hormonal disruption.

  2. Gravatar for Sage

    Monsanto claims that glyphosate is safe for humans, and yet its approval is based on unpublished (i.e. secret) feeding trials done by Monsanto itself, the company that has a vested interest in finding nothing, and yet they did find signs of severe gut disturbance in rabbits at levels of 50 mg/kg/day, which is only about 50 times the exposure of humans when accounting for ratio of gut weight, and finding that soy averages about 2 mg/kg id residue, and this was only over 29 days, while humans are exposed from birth to death -- the whole lifetime of the human organism who eats Roundup Ready soy and corn in a daily diet. Therefore, the lack of transparent study, and the likelihood of the potential mode of action that is probably disturbing the species balance in the human gut microbiota over years, is really gross negligence, willful negligence, by a company who is guilty of gross willful negligence in regard to PCBs, and whose actions have resulted in ecocide and homicide through willful negligence. A company lied about their product Aroclor, and this resulted in deaths of rivers and of people, and now we are supposed to TRUST this same company with a new product (Roundup) that is in all of our food at chronic levels? Are we all stupid? Apparently Monsanto thinks so.

    By the way, the source for above claims about effects on rabbit guts is from stool observations in a 2013 paper by Kimmel et al. which reports on the secret studies by Monsanto, so it's through a glass darkly and we can still see gut disturbance reported in animals that ingested glyphosate over less than one month! That is a ridiculous situation. We humans need to know more. We cannot trust a company that has kept secrets for profits at the expense of human and ecological health. And yet that is exactly the situation right now. Time to change that.

    Kimmel GL, Kimmel CA, Williams AL, DeSesso JM (2013) Evaluation of developmental toxicity studies of glyphosate with attention to cardiovascular development. Crit Rev Toxicol, 2013; 43(2): 79–95.

Comments are closed.

Of Interest