Monsanto Now Facing Wave of Chemical Negligence Lawsuits Over Glyphosate (Roundup) and Cancer Deaths
Teri McCall, the widow of a prominent farmer from Cambria, California, has just filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto Co. Anthony Jackson ‘Jack’ McCall, 69, died December 26, of terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, after using Roundup weed killer on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm for nearly 30 years.
According to a press release from the law firm, Jack McCall was admitted to a hospital in September 2015, to treat swollen lymph nodes in his neck. The same day they found out that Jack, a man who had never smoked, stayed fit and had no history of cancer in his family, had a rare and aggressive version of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Teri McCall is one of the plaintiffs in more than a dozen recently filed lawsuits that claim that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, gave them, or their loved ones, cancer, though Monsanto knows that the substance poses significant risks to human health, including an increased risk of causing several types of cancer.
Only recently, glyphosate was declared as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). They found that non-Hodgkin lymphoma, among other haematopoietic cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, lymph and lymphatic system, are the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure.
Following the IARC’s decision, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment issued plans in September 2016 to add glyphosate to the state’s list of carcinogenic chemicals, making it the first state in the U.S. to do so
Private greed before public health
Evidence has come to light showing that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate is carcinogenic, but failed to warn consumers, and continued to market its herbicide as the safest and most effective product on the market.
Glyphosate, which annually brings in about $5 billion, or a third of total sales, couldn’t just be taken off the market, so evidence of the actual risks associated with glyphosate, now used in most weed killers on the market, had to disappear.
Just like many other farmers, Jack was tricked into believing that Roundup was the better choice. However, when he learned about the link between Roundup and cancer, he stopped using the carcinogen on his farm. Sadly though, it was too late.
The press release also reported that three years before Jack McCall’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, the family’s black Labrador, Duke, mysteriously developed lymphoma and died from the disease. According to the release, “Duke spent his life roaming the farm and sticking his nose into everything he could, including areas where Jack McCall was spraying with Roundup.”
“Glyphosate is the product of both modern chemistry and a profoundly corrupt corporate culture,” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., one of the attorneys for Teri McCall, told Eco Watch. “It is sad for our country and our people that such a powerful economic leader can only be trusted to put private greed before public health.
Monsanto continues to deny allegations
The big agrochemical giant continues to deny any association between glyphosate and diseases like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The lawsuit alleges that rather than informing the public about the dangers, Monsanto chose to hide evidence in order to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup weed killer is safe.
“Comprehensive long-term toxicological studies repeated over the last 30 years have time and again demonstrated that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a cancer risk in humans,” Monsanto states on its website. “Regulatory authorities and independent experts around the world have reviewed numerous long-term/carcinogenicity and genotoxicity studies and agree that there is no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer, even at very high doses.”
“The evidence to support the claims isn’t there,” said one prominent lawyer, declining to be quoted by name. “It’s not mothers’ milk by any means. I wouldn’t mix it in my drink, but it’s one of the safest chemicals out there,” he said.
However, the wave of recent lawsuits and claims comes at a critical moment for Monsanto, as the United States and the European Union are evaluating whether or not to continue to allow glyphosate herbicides on the market.
Sources for this article include: