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Monsanto faces a class action lawsuit over Roundup, alleging that concentrated versions of the controversial herbicide do not make as much of the weed killer as advertised.
In a complaint (PDF) filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Elisabeth Martin seeks class action status over claims that Roundup Concentrates only make about half as many gallons of the herbicide as the manufacturer indicates.
“During at least the preceding four years, Monsanto advertised the Roundup Concentrates as being capable of making a certain number of gallons. For example, prominently at the top of the container in bold numbers on a red background, the 32 oz. size advertises it makes 10 gallons of Roundup, the 36.8 oz. size advertises it makes 12 gallons of Roundup and the 64 oz. size advertises it makes 21 gallons of Roundup,” the lawsuit states. “These advertisements were false, however, because Roundup Concentrates were in fact only capable of making half the number of gallons represented when diluted to the same strength as ‘Ready-to-use’ Roundup according to Monsanto’s own instructions.”
The lawsuit seeks class action status to represent all purchasers of Roundup Concentrates in recent years, pointing out that if you follow the instructions on the back label, you only get about half of what the bottle says you will get. For example. the 32 oz. bottle claims it makes up to 10 gallons. However, if you follow the instructions and add 6 fluid ounces to one gallon of water, you only get 5.3 gallons.
Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the instructions for use are sealed on the back panel in a pamphlet that most purchasers would not unseal and open to read before purchasing the product.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits
The Roundup class action lawsuit comes as Monsanto faces an increasing number of product liability claims over the weed killer, which allege that the glyphosate contained in the product caused farmers, landscapers, golf course workers and others to face an increased risk of cancer.
The link between Roundup and cancer was first announced last year, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate contained in the product is likely a cancer-causing agent. In particular, the IARC report linked the side effects of Roundup to an increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
A recent U.S. Geological Survey on glyphosate usage nationwide found that an estimated 2.6 billion pounds of the herbicide has been sprayed on America’s agricultural land over the two decades since the mid-1990s, when Monsanto introduced “Roundup Ready” crops that are designed to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, killing the weeds but not the crops.
The Roundup cancer lawsuits allege that plaintiffs may have avoided a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancers if they had been warned about the Roundup risks for farmers, landscapers and others in the agricultural industry, as safety precautions could have been taken or other products could have been used to control the growth of weeds.
All cancer cases over Roundup filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide were recently centralized before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. Following litigation before Judge Chhabria, if Roundup settlements or another resolution for the cases are not reached, product liability cases filed by individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma or other cancers may be remanded back to the federal courts where they were originally filed for individual trial dates.