Mexican officials recently refused to allow a 1,000-pound shipment of Roundup into the country due to concerns about the potential environmental impact and health risks associated with the weed killer. Roundup, the most-used agricultural ever, has been linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people exposed to the glyphosate-based weed killer during residential or commercial use. If you or someone you know has been exposed to Roundup and has since been diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Roundup has been around for decades but people have only recently begun to realize that the herbicide poses a potential health risk and may have caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has resulted in a mountain of new Roundup cancer lawsuits.
Roundup is the brand name of a systemic, broad-spectrum herbicide originally produced by Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is a chemical that kills weeds and it can be found in more than 750 products sold in the United States. Roundup was first introduced by Monsanto in 1974 and quickly became the most widely used herbicide in the United States, particularly after the introduction of Roundup Ready Crops, a patented line of crops genetically modified (GMO) to withstand direct exposure to glyphosate. Farmers quickly warmed to the idea of an herbicide they could spray on their entire crop, killing only the weeds and leaving the crop alive, and began using Roundup more and more. Before long, Roundup was being sprayed on nearly every acre of soybean, cotton and corn crops in the United States.
As the use of glyphosate-based weed killers has increased over the past 20 years, exposure to the chemical has skyrocketed and so too has the number of people diagnosed with cancer. On November 25, the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources issued a press release announcing the government’s decision to deny the import of Roundup and a general ban on the use of the controversial weed killer due to concerns about public and environmental health. The ministry specifically expressed concerns about the potential impact of Roundup use on the environment, on the health of its residents and on pollinators, such as bees, which are essential to the reproduction of many plants. Mexico is far from the first country to implement a Roundup ban though. Since concerns about the potential link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma first began to emerge, several countries have banned or heavily restricted the use of Roundup and other glyphosate-based products, including Germany, Thailand, Australia, Belgium, Canada and Austria.
Once touted as a miracle weed killer, Roundup has become so overused in the United States that weeds have become resistant to the chemical, which has only resulted in increased usage, with farmers applying Roundup multiple times per year in an attempt to keep weeds at bay. At the same time, researchers around the world have taken a hard look at the safety of glyphosate and the potential health risks faced by farmers, agricultural workers and other individuals facing such heavy exposure to Roundup. These concerns grew exponentially after 2015, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, meaning the chemical could cause cancer in humans.
Despite a growing body of evidence linking glyphosate exposure to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bayer continues to stand behind its Roundup products, claiming that Roundup is safe to use and does not cause cancer. Still, many experts have spoken out against the use of glyphosate and dozens of U.S. cities and counties, including Seattle, Austin and Miami, have banned or restricted the use of the chemical, citing research showing that people who are exposed to Roundup may face a 41% increased risk of cancer. Product liability lawsuits alleging cancer from Roundup exposure also continue to mount and as additional cases are prepared for trial in the Roundup litigation, Bayer faces increasing pressure to reach a settlement agreement.
In the United States, Bayer and its Monsanto subsidiary face more than 40,000 lawsuits filed by farmers, agricultural workers, landscapers and consumers all over the country who claim that they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other types of cancer from long-term exposure to Roundup. So far, three Roundup lawsuits have gone to trial in the U.S. and in each case, the jury found that Roundup caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s cancer and that Monsanto knew for years about the potential for Roundup to cause cancer and intentionally kept that key piece of information from the public. For more information about the ongoing Roundup litigation or to determine whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit against Bayer and Monsanto, contact an experienced Roundup cancer attorney today.