I very rarely report on lawsuits outside of the pharmaceutical industry. But here's one that caught my attention. More so because the word 'Monsanto' regularly appears in my timeline on Facebook.
Who or what is Monsanto?
Monsanto is an American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. According to their website they deliver agricultural products that support farmers all around the world. Moreover, they claim, "Monsanto could not exist without farmers. They are our customers, the lifeblood of our company. More important, they are the support system of the world's economy, working day in and day out to feed, clothe and provide energy for our world."
One of the products they sell is a herbicide called RoundUp, basically it's a weed killer that contains the active ingredient glyphosate. RoundUp is used by many farmers and your average householder.
Here's where Monsanto may not be supporting their farmers.
Lawsuits have been filed across the US alleging that Monsanto has known about the link between glyphosate and cancer since the 1980's but failed to inform the public about the danger. The one thing that caught my attention from the Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman press release is that Monsanto are denying that there is any link between Roundup and cancer.
The cancer link stems from a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on cancer - or IARC - a division of the World Health Organization. It found glyphosate to be "probably carcinogenic." The report says glyphosate caused cancer in lab tests on animals and found that the chemical damaged DNA in human cells.
Monsanto, however, disagree with the findings and claim they have carried out their own tests and found no link between the active ingredient of RoundUp and cancer.
To date, 26 Roundup lawsuits have been filed across the US by 12 different law firms, A further 200 may follow as Monsanto's motions for dismissal have, in some instances, been denied. (1)
Due to the mounting scientific evidence indicating that glyphosate is a carcinogen, numerous countries have elected to restrict or ban glyphosate, including Roundup.
On December 26, 2015, Californian farmer, Jack McCall passed away after suffering a massive stroke due to complications from a rare version of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His wife, Teri, has now has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto, claiming exposure to Roundup caused her late husband to develop cancer. (2)
More about Jack McCall and further information regarding RoundUp lawsuits can be found here.
Maybe Monsanto need to take a good look at their labelling and add that RoundUp not only kills weeds and roots... but humans too.
(1) Mother-of-Three Sues Monsanto Claiming Roundup Caused Her Cancer
(2) What Killed Jack McCall? A California Farmer Dies and a Case Against Monsanto Takes Root.