Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Lawsuits Mount Against Monsanto's 'Cancer-Causing' Weedkiller

Food
Lawsuits Mount Against Monsanto's 'Cancer-Causing' Weedkiller

Looks like the cancer lawsuits against Monsanto are gaining country-wide momentum. Reuters reports that personal injury law firms around the U.S. are gathering numerous plaintiffs to build "mass tort actions" alleging that exposure to the company's popular weedkiller, Roundup, causes cancer.

Law firms—from California to New York City and nearly everywhere in between—are building cases against Monsanto. Numerous plaintiffs allege that exposure to the company's flagship herbicide, Roundup, causes cancer.
Photo credit: Flickr

A new lawsuit was filed in Delaware Superior Court on Wednesday by three law firms representing three plaintiffs. According to Reuters, plaintiff Joselin Barrera, 24, a child of migrant farm workers, claims her non-Hodgkin lymphoma stemmed from exposure to glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's used weedkiller, Roundup. The other name on the suit, former migrant farm worker and landscaper Elias de la Garza, was also diagnosed with the same disease and has similar claims about the toxicity of the herbicide.

The new lawsuit is similar to Enrique Rubio v. Monsanto Company and Fitzgerald v. Monsanto Company, which were filed on the same day, Sept. 22, in Los Angeles and New York respectively. In these suits, former field worker Enrique Rubio (who has bone cancer) and horticultural assistant Judi Fitzgerald (who has leukemia) both claim that exposure to Roundup caused their diseases, and that Monsanto “falsified data” and “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation” to convince the public, farm workers and government agencies about the safety of the product.

The suits come after the World Health Organization's infamous report in March declaring that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans." Following that, in September, California’s Environmental Protection Agency issued plans to list glyphosate as known to cause cancer.

While EcoWatch was informed by Monsanto's spokeswoman Charla Lord that Fitzgerald's suit was "voluntarily dismissed without prejudice" in New York, yesterday we learned that the Fitzgerald case was added to the recently filed Delaware suit.

When EcoWatch contacted Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm representing Fitzgerald, Robin Greenwald, the head of the firm’s environmental law unit, told us: “For clarification, we added Ms. Fitzgerald to a complaint we filed in Delaware. So we dismissed the suit in New York and refiled in Delaware state court, closer to her home and where Monsanto is incorporated.”

Monsanto has demanded a retraction of the WHO report and will “vigorously” defend itself against the lawsuits.

“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,” Lord said last month.

It appears, however, more and more plaintiffs are lining up to make cases against the embattled agribusiness giant, which is facing slumping earnings and recently announced it will eliminate 12 percent of its workforce.

"We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate," Michael McDivitt, whose Colorado law firm is arranging cases for 50 individuals, told Reuters. "There are a lot of studies showing glyphosate causes these cancers."

His firm is advertising free case evaluations and hosted town hall gatherings in August in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska to seek clients.

Baltimore-based firm Saiontz & Kirk, Washington, DC-based firm Schmidt & Clark as well as firms in Texas, Colorado and California are also advertising similar Roundup lawsuit evaluations to find plaintiffs, Reuters observed.

According to Reuters, the attorneys are citing strong evidence that links glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and said they will likely collaborate as mass tort actions against Monsanto.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Deceptive Tactics Used by Industry-Funded Group to Gain Support for Bill That Would Ban GMO Labeling

Europe GMO Debate Not Over: EU Votes to Allow GMO Imports Despite Opposition

2.6 Billion Pounds of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Sprayed on U.S. Farmland in Past Two Decades

Monsanto Fights Back Against Cancer Lawsuits as Company Eliminates 12% of Workforce

Protestors stage a demonstration against fracking in California on May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

A bill that would have banned fracking in California died in committee Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / E+ / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

As world leaders prepare for this November's United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world's wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015.

Read More Show Less
Trending
The saguaro cactus extracts carbon from the atmosphere. Thomas Roche / Getty Images

By Paul Brown

It may come as a surprise to realize that a plant struggling for survival in a harsh environment is also doing its bit to save the planet from the threats of the rapidly changing climate. But that's what Mexico's cactuses are managing to do.

Read More Show Less
Lower Granite Dam is obstructing salmon along the Snake River in Washington. Greg Vaughn / VW PICS / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Climate change, activities that contribute to it, and dams pose grave threats to America's rivers, according to American Rivers.

Read More Show Less
Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less