In March 2016 the World Health Organization issued a declaration that there was sufficient evidence to classify the weed killer glyphosate – better known by its commercial name Roundup – as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
The WHO report sparked lawsuits against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co, the makers of Roundup, claiming the company’s herbicide caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical and that Monsanto had long known that, glyphosate was hazardous to human health.
This past week in San Francisco, documents were made public revealing employees Monsanto had ghostwritten many scientific of the reports U.S. regulators relied on in determining if glyphosate was a carcinogen. As part of a mass litigation in federal court, Plaintiffs lawyer’s also claimed that Monsanto’s toxicology manager ghostwrote parts of a scientific report in 2013 that was published under the names of several academic scientists, and his boss ghostwrote parts of another in 2000.
The EPA studies have been integral to Monsanto’s insistence that glyphosate is perfectly safe to humans and denying any claims linking it to cancer. The World Health Organization findings are in direct opposition to these compromised EPA reports. The WHO has concluded that the best scientific research indicates glyphosate is a “probable” carcinogen in humans. Their International Agency for Research on Cancer, is considered the gold standard for cancer research. In 50 years, not a single “probable” human carcinogen it has identified has been shown later to not cause cancer.
Arguments over whether or not glyphosate is a carcinogen are not trivial. Annual U.S. glyphosate use has soared to more than 300 million pounds. Unsurprisingly, researchers have detected traces of the pesticide in a wide range of off-the-shelf foods, and even in some organic brands.
Monsanto’s continued claims about the safety of Roundup have been undermined by revelations of the company’s interference in glyphosate studies. Scientists from the WHO have shown evidence that directly links glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Monsanto made almost $5 billion in revenue from Roundup in 2015 even while being dogged by questions about the weed killer’s safety. Any credibility they might have had on this issue has been lost with the revelation that the company has worked actively to suppress any evidence that might harm sales – or reveal they knowingly sell a dangerous product.
At Saunders & Walker we continue to represent consumers harmed by defective products and medical devices. If you feel you or a loved one might have developed cancer or other medical conditions after repeated exposure to Roundup, please call us for a free consultation.
Photo Credit by Mike via Flickr
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