Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
With less than two weeks before the first federal Roundup cancer lawsuit is set for trial to begin, a new study indicates that the weed killer may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 41%.
Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and the University of Washington conducted a large meta-analysis of prior studies, looking to evaluate the correlation between high exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs), such as those experienced by agricultural workers who use Roundup, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The findings published this week online by the journal Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research provide significant support for thousands of lawsuits brought by farmers, landscapers and other individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma following Roundup exposure, as well as recent warnings issued by health experts.
“Using the highest exposure groups when available in each study, we report the overall meta-relative risk of NHL in GBH-exposed individuals was increased by 41%,” the researchers report. “Overall, in accordance with evidence from experimental animal and mechanistic studies, our current meta-analysis of human epidemiological studies suggests a compelling link between exposures to GBHs and increased risk for NHL.”
Researchers note that the debate over whether glyphosate causes cancer has been controversial, and given Roundup’s widespread use, it is important that the chemical’s carcinogenic potential be truly understood. They claim to have evaluated all of the published human studies on glyphosate carcinogenicity, as well as animal studies and studies linked to mechanistic considerations.
The study comes nearly four years after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that glyphosate was linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers in March 2015, and years of denials by Monsanto, which has maintained that there is no cancer risk with Roundup.
Bayer’s Monsanto unit currently faces nearly 10,000 product liability lawsuits involving individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma following Roundup exposure, each raising similar allegations that the manufacturer has withheld known risk information and failed to provide safety instructions for the glyphosate-based weedkiller.
Last summer, a state court lawsuit went to trial in California, resulting in a jury award of $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, including $250 million in punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer. While the punitive damages were subsequently reduced, the judge who presided over the claim determined that the company should still pay $78 million in damages.
On February 25, the first federal case is set to go before a jury, which is being closely watched as a “bellwether” to determine how other juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.
It is unclear what direct impact these latest findings will have on the upcoming trial, but prior evidence uncovered during the litigation process suggests that Monsanto has engaged in a global campaign to influence the decisions of regulators, including ghostwriting studies and taking other unprecedented actions to suppress Roundup safety evaluations.
Throughout 2019, a number of other claims are scheduled to go before juries nationwide, including a multi-plaintiff trial involving more than 15 individuals that is set to begin in October. However, if Monsanto fails to reach Roundup settlements to resolve claims, they could face years of litigation and substantial verdicts as more evidence is discovered about the true risks associated with the weedkiller.