Arizona Woman Claims She Developed Cancer Because of Exposure to Monsanto Roundup
An Arizona woman filed suit in federal court alleging she developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of years of exposure to the popular weed killer, Roundup. The herbicide is produced by Monsanto.
Linda Dennis of Mesa says she used Roundup for 9 years. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Back then, doctors didn’t know the cause of her cancer. Today Ms. Dennis believes it was caused by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
She claims that while using the product she thought it was safe. Monsanto never warned her it was dangerous.
Normally, personal injury cases must be filed within a few years of the illness or injury. Many states allow the period in which to sue, called a statute of limitation, to be extended if the victim did not know and had no reason to know that they had a possible claim.
There are now some 8000 known lawsuits pending against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer. These suits were recently given a boost when a California man was awarded $289 million by a San Francisco jury. The jurors in that case believed that DeWayne “Lee” Johnson
developed cancer because of his years spent as a school groundskeeper. His job required that he frequently use the commercial version of Roundup called Ranger Pro.
Her suit is especially telling as it outlines serious claims of fraud by Monsanto. As each new Roundup case progresses, we learn new allegations of fraud and coverups by Monsanto.
Popularity of Roundup
Monsanto discovered glyphosate in 1974. Within months, the company knew it had the most powerful herbicide on the market. By 2001, it was the number one used herbicide in the United States. By 2012 it would be the most widely used in the world.
The product is so widely used that is now found in rivers and lakes throughout the United States. More ominously, it is also often found in the urine of agricultural workers. A 2012 European study reported in the scientific journal ithakajournal (journal of viticulture, ecology and climate-farming) found that glyphosate is now present in the urine of many city dwellers.
How does a herbicide get into the urine of an urban dweller? Food. Most of the corn in the United States and many other foods are treated with glyphosate. It doesn’t kill the crops because Monsanto has developed genetically altered seeds that resist the chemical.
Monsanto brags that Ranger Pro and Roundup kill weeds but not crop plants. They have a right to brag because their product is certainly deadly on weeds.
We worry because glyphosate doesn’t easily break down. That means when we eat glyphosate treated crops, we are ingesting weed killers! And those weed killers are ingested when we eat treated crops.
According to the ithakajournal,
“Glyphosate is the main active substance used in most commercial herbicides. It poisons not only plants, but also animals and humans. When testing for glyphosate contamination in an urban population, a German university found significant contamination in all urine samples with levels 5 to 20 times above the legal limit for drinking water.
“To this day Monsanto continues to advertise its Roundup products as environmentally friendly and claims that neither animals nor humans arehttp://www.ithaka-journal.net/druckversionen/e052012-herbicides-urine.pdf affected by this toxin. Environmentalists, veterinarians, medical doctors and scientists, however, have raised increasing alarms about the danger of glyphosate in the animal and human food chain and the environment. The fact that glyphosate has been found in animals and humans is of great concern. In search for the causes of serious diseases of entire herds of animals in northern Germany, especially cattle, glyphosate has repeatedly been detected in the urine, feces, milk and feed of the animals…”
The researchers who reported their findings in ithakajournal questioned the safety of glyphosate. They were not alone.
In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”), an agency of the World Health Organization (“WHO”), published their findings on glyphosate. Their results were based on studies conducted over all over the world.
The results? On July 29, 2015, IARC classified glyphosate as a Group 2A herbicide meaning it is probably carcinogenic. And the cancer that concerned them the most? Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In reaching its conclusion, the glyphosate working group found the product caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. They also found evidence of cancerous tumors in mice exposed to the chemical.
The group also looked a study that examined 57,311 licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. The results suggested an association between glyphosate and multiple myeloma, hairy cell leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
History of Glyphosate and Roundup in the USA
It took until 2015 before a major governing body recognized the active ingredient in Roundup and Ranger Pro was a probable carcinogen. Or did it?
Dig into the archives of the EPA and you will see that in 1985 the agency originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans. We believe that intense pressure from Monsanto caused the EPA to change its classification to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. In EPA – speak, that is a “Group E.”
In reclassifying glyphosate to evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans, the EPA said, “It should be emphasized, however, that designation of an agent in Group E is based on the available evidence at the time of evaluation and should not be interpreted as a definitive conclusion that the agent will not be a carcinogen under any circumstances.”
Why did the EPA change its determination and reclassify glyphosate? We think it was based on pressure from Monsanto. Pressure that included studies funded by Monsanto that suggested their herbicides were safe.
Monsanto used a laboratory called Industrial Bio-Test laboratories (“IBT”) to do many of the studies needed to register glyphosate with the EPA.
In 1976, the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) inspected IBT. That inspection found a discrepancy between the raw data and the lab’s final report relating on glyphosate.
The FDA wasn’t the only government agency that had concerns with Monsanto’s testing lab, IBT. The EPA reviewed IBT’s toxicology studies on glyphosate and found they were invalid. An EPA official said it was “hard to believe the scientific integrity of the studies when they said they took specimens of the uterus from male rabbits.”
Three executives of IBT were convicted of fraud in 1983.
Monsanto’s other testing lab also doesn’t earn any integrity awards. Monsanto hired Craven Laboratories in 1991 to conduct additional studies on Roundup and Ranger Pro. That year the owner of Craven Laboratories was indicted (and later convicted) of fraudulent laboratory practices. Fourteen other employees were also charged.
New York Questions Safety of Glyphosate
In 1996, the New York Attorney General charged Monsanto with allegations of false advertising. Their complaint was focused on the safety claims of Roundup and Ranger Pro spray-on glyphosate-based herbicides
The state believed that many of the statements made by Monsanto were false and misleading. Some examples of the claims they disbelieved include:
- “Glyphosate is less toxic to rats than table sale following acute oral ingestion.
- “Glyphosate’s safety margin is much greater than required. It has over a 1,000-fold safety margin in food and over a 700-fold safety margin for workers who manufacture it or use it.
- “You can feel good about using herbicides by Monsanto. They carry a toxicity category rating of ‘practically non-toxic’ as it pertains to mammals, birds and fish.
- “Roundup can be used where kids and pets will play and breaks down into natural material.”
Monsanto didn’t admit any wrongdoing but did agree to stop the claims that New York found were false or misleading.
Many of the studies touted by Monsanto deal with the safety of glyphosate. We believe that the scientific data shows glyphosate is a dangerous carcinogen. Let’s expand the inquiry to Roundup and Ranger Pro. The major ingredient in those products is glyphosate but the product contains other chemicals as well.
One study says that the supposedly inert ingredients in the two Monsanto herbicide products when mixed with glyphosate make the finished product far more dangerous.
To make Roundup more effective, Monsanto adds a surfactant. What is a surfactant? It is a chemical agent that lowers the surface tension between a liquid and a solid. For example, most laundry detergents use surfactants to make sure the detergent is able to lift stains from your laundry.
In a herbicide, surfactants help the poison get into the plant cells. They may also help those same poisons get into human cells.
The surfactants that Monsanto uses in Roundup and Ranger Pro are probably not dangerous if used alone. But one study says they make glyphosate more toxic to humans.
This post wouldn’t be complete without discussing Monsanto’s response. Despite a recent finding that Monsanto’s Ranger Pro product was responsible for school landscaper’s cancer, the company continues to say its product is safe.
Monsanto Insider or Cancer Victim? We Can Help
We believe that there is a clear and direct link between Roundup and certain cancers including myeloma, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is especially scary because it is often difficult to diagnose and can exist in the human body for a long time before being discovered. By then, its often more difficult to treat.
Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma often resemble a bad cold or the stress associated with everyday life. These symptoms can include:
- Swollen (but usually painless) lymph nodes (groin, neck and arm pits)
- Abdominal pain
- Night sweats or chills
- Weight loss
- Chest pain, coughing or shortness of breath
- Swollen abdomen
- Chest pain or pressure in the chest
- Bruising easily
If you are suffering from cancer and have had exposure to Roundup or Ranger Pro, you may be entitled to significant monetary damages. Monsanto may be liable for your injuries and damages if those injuries are attributable to their unsafe products. That includes being responsible for products with improper warning labels or instructions.
Damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Future anticipated medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Medical Monitoring
- Lost wages including future lost wages
- And in some cases, punitive damages
Cancer Victim Because of Exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup or Ranger Pro
Call us immediately. The time to file claims is often very limited and varies by state. Even if you developed cancer years ago, it may not be too late to file a lawsuit. Many states have special rules that only start the clock for injuries on the date that the person knew or should have known of the risks of Roundup. [Monsanto is making that a bit easier because they continue to argue there is no risk!]
[See also our On the Trail of Monsanto, Roundup and Cancer post.
Did You Work at Monsanto?
If you work or once worked at Monsanto or any of its testing laboratories, we certainly want to speak with you. We need your help!
In most product’s liability cases, we must prove that the wrongdoer knew that their product was dangerous. We also need to know when they learned of the danger.
There are potentially tens of thousands of people who are suffering horrible cancers, cancers that could have been prevented.
Finding that smoking gun in a company’s millions of pages of records? It is like finding the proverbial in the haystack.
But you may have a copy of the secret memo or know where we should look for records or knows “where the body is buried.” Call us, write us anonymously, send what you think we should know… but do something. Your bravery makes a difference.
Beyond helping individual victims of Roundup exposure, we also want to insure the government takes appropriate action. See our Monsanto whistleblower information page and then call us at the numbers above. Have something you want to share anonymously? Write to us at