Internal documents that have come to light during the ongoing Roundup litigation reveal that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency responsible for protecting the environment and public health, knew about the possible risk of Roundup causing cancer in users for years, despite publicly declaring that the weed killer was safe and had no connection to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Roundup’s glyphosate-based lawn and garden products are set to be pulled from shelves by 2023, a decision Bayer made to limit the company’s future liability in Roundup cancer claims. In the meantime, the world’s most popular weed killer has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers since it was first introduced by Monsanto in the 1970s. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer that you believe was caused by exposure to Roundup, contact Consumer Safety Watch today for help.
The massive Roundup litigation centers around claims that glyphosate, the weed killer’s active ingredient, causes cancer. Bayer and Monsanto have been hit by more than 120,000 lawsuits filed on behalf of former Roundup users who allege that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system and can cause tumors to develop throughout the body. Each Roundup lawsuit raises similar allegations that Bayer and Monsanto knew about the potential link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for years and deliberately withheld this information from consumers. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen,” and more than 100,000 former Roundup users blame their cancer diagnoses on exposure to glyphosate in Roundup. Yet, the EPA “continues to find that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label.”
The EPA has consistently claimed that glyphosate poses no risk to human health, but a recent report published in the Progressive Farmer suggests otherwise. According to the report, an internal EPA document shows that agency officials had expressed concerns about the possibility of Roundup users developing cancer as far back as 2016, with the emergence of scientific evidence suggesting a link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The document surfaced as part of a lawsuit filed by several consumer protection and environmental groups against the EPA over the agency’s decision last year to grant glyphosate products an interim re-registration approval. The lawsuit is pending on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, and the groups seeking to overturn the EPA’s 2020 glyphosate decision want that report to be made part of the court record.
“EPA conspicuously omitted a 2016 evaluation of epidemiological studies by its Office of Research and Development in which EPA scientists concluded there is ‘suggestive evidence’ of carcinogenic potential between glyphosate exposure and increased risk of NHL,” stated the Rural Coalition, an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant and working people concerned with issues affecting rural people and communities, in a reply brief filed in the Court of Appeals on August 13, 2021. “The ORD report considered and largely rejected various potential biases, confounding factors, and chance as explanations for increased NHL risk, factors EPA’s pesticide division later used to discount epidemiological studies.” But EPA’s conclusion in 2016 was that “the ‘weight of evidence is suggestive of carcinogenicity’ and a ‘concern for potential carcinogenic effects in humans is raised,’ a classification joined by many SAP (EPA scientific advisory panel) members.”
The vast majority of Roundup cancer lawsuits involve claims from residential users in the U.S. who contend that they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a direct result of using Roundup during the decades the weed killer has been on the market without any cancer warnings, despite the fact that the EPA and other agencies have been aware of the possible Roundup cancer risk for years. The EPA claimed in a brief filed earlier this month that the internal document expressing concerns about a potential link between glyphosate and cancer was deliberative in nature and was therefore not included in the agency’s 2020 assessment of the controversial weed killer. “At worst, this is bad faith by an agency with a long history of colluding with the industry it is supposed to regulate,” argues the Rural Coalition in its reply brief. “At best, it shows EPA lacked substantial evidence for its cancer conclusion.”
Following a series of massive losses at trial, Bayer proposed a multibillion-dollar settlement last year intended to resolve the remaining Roundup lawsuits and minimize the company’s future liability surrounding Roundup cancer claims. Bayer also announced plans to remove glyphosate from residential Roundup weed killer products by 2023. However, the Roundup settlement has yet to gain approval from the court and Bayer still faces thousands of unresolved lawsuits and future claims from former Roundup users who allege that the weed killer caused them to develop cancer. Furthermore, commercial Roundup products sold to farmers and agricultural businesses would still contain the harmful active ingredient glyphosate. If you or someone you know used Roundup weed killer and was subsequently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, don’t hesitate to speak to a Roundup cancer attorney about your legal options. You may be eligible to join the Roundup litigation and recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses related to your cancer diagnosis.