Monsanto Facing Wave of Lawsuits After WHO Cancer Study

Monsanto Company, one of the world’s leading Agri-chemical companies, has had a difficult year regarding public relations. Not only has Monsanto been the focus of two studies by the World Health Organization which found its products are “possibly” and “probably” carcinogenic, but the company has been forced to cut 12% of its employees due to declining stock value. Monsanto’s problems only seem to be increasing as personal injury lawyers are now looking for plaintiffs who have been harmed by the corporations products.

Reuters reported:

“The latest lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Delaware Superior Court by three law firms representing three plaintiffs.

The lawsuit is similar to others filed last month in New York and California accusing Monsanto of long knowing that the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, was hazardous to human health. Monsanto “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe,” the lawsuit states.”

Monsanto continues to deny the charges against its products. Company spokewoman Charla Lord told Reuters, “Glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The most extensive worldwide human health databases ever compiled on an agricultural product contradict the claims in the suits.”

The California lawsuit was filed by 58-year-old Enrique Rubio, a former farm worker in California, Texas, and Oregon. The Anti Media reported on his case:

“One of his main duties included spraying fields with RoundUp and other herbicides. Mr. Rubio maintained these tasks until he was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1995, the lawsuit states.

Attorney Robin Greenwald, a representative in the Enrique Rubio case, says she believes additional lawsuits will emerge because RoundUp is the most widely-used herbicide and the WHO statements support ongoing concerns surrounding glyphosate.”

Another lawsuit filed against Monsanto comes from 63-year-old New Yorker Judy Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald claims that her cancer was caused by exposure to RoundUp when she worked in a horticulture company during the 1990s. Judy Fitzgerald was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012.

In March of this year Truth In Media reported that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report in The Lancet Oncology detailing evaluations of organophosphate pesticides and herbicides. The report concluded that there was “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” The evidence for this conclusion was pulled from studies of exposure to the chemical in the US, Canada and Sweden published since 2001.

The researchers found “convincing evidence that glyphosate can also cause cancer in laboratory animals.” The report points out that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) had originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans in 1985.
The IARC Working Group evaluated the original EPA findings and more recent reports before concluding “there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” Despite the WHO’s findings, the EPA approved Monsanto’s use of glyphosate as recently as 2013.

Glyphosate is not only the most widely-used herbicide, it is a key ingredient in biotech giant Monsanto’s popular RoundUp products. Glyphosate is only one of Monsanto’s products that have been recently connected to cancer, however. In June the IARC also found that the weed killer 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, “possibly” causes cancer in humans.

The IARC reviewed the latest scientific research before deciding to classify 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” a step below “probably carcinogenic.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving pressure to restrict or prohibit the use of 2,4-D, while some farm group and pesticide industry groups say the chemical does not need any more restriction.

Of particular interest with the recent findings is the fact that in April the EPA approved the use of Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Duo herbicide which contains 2,4-D and glyphosate. Enlist Duo is part of a partnership between Monsanto and Dow known as the Enlist Weed Control system.

Monsanto has not released a statement on whether or not they will also convene a panel to study the IARC’s claims about 2,4-D.

In 2013, Ben Swann examined several controversies surrounding Monsanto in a Truth in Media episode, seen below.