In May 2019, an Oakland jury reached a $2 billion verdict against Monsanto concerning its popular Roundup herbicide. The jury awarded the damages to a couple after finding that Roundup caused their cancer. For years, scientists and others have warned of the cancer risks posed by the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate. But other dangers have been suspected or known for just as long. And now some are urging regulators to step up and act on this information.
A June 4, 2019 opinion piece appearing in Bloomberg describes several of these concerns. Studies have indicated that glyphosate pollutes water, lingers in soil, and taints human food supplies. Several scientists in 2016 attempted to explain what is known about the chemical. For instance, it can be damaging to livers and kidneys in rodents, and cause congenital problems in pigs. This certainly does not bode well for humans, especially those with high levels of exposure to glyphosate.
There is even some research that the effects of this ingredient could affect several biological generations down the line. Michael Skinner of Washington State University and his colleagues uncovered troubling evidence in this area. Rats who were not exposed to glyphosate had indicated no harmful effects, and neither did their offspring. But heightened tendencies toward several abnormalities began showing up two generations of offspring later. These included prostate and kidney disease, obesity, ovarian disease, and birth defects.
Again, these and other studies concerned animals exposed to the glyphosate chemical. The effects on humans may not be known for quite some time. What the evidence suggests is that people could very well start to mirror some of these same serious health problems. However, it could take years or even generations for there to be any signs. Considering the widespread use of Roundup, the potential number of victims could be exceptionally high.
It will take a massive public health campaign to raise awareness of the potential dangers of Roundup. The herbicide has become so popular that even when confronted with potential health risks, many users simply shrug them off. Efforts are underway in many states to confront these concerns directly through legislation and other action. At a minimum, protecting public health will mean continued vigilance by regulators to ensure that proper safety warnings are mandated.
The Bloomberg opinion article also explains how the science got so off course. Many old studies that showed glyphosate to be safe relied on data provided by the herbicide industry. Some of this information was not peer-reviewed or publicized. To say the very least, it was biased research coming directly from the parties responsible for the problem. Then came a 2015 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluding that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic. Unlike earlier reports, the IARC relied only on peer-reviewed, publicly available research to make its findings.
Numerous cancers have been linked to glyphosate, among them:
What remains to be seen is what other types of diseases and medical conditions will begin showing up in humans. If you or someone you know uses Roundup, especially in high levels, let them know about these health risks. Keep records, or tell them to do so, regarding any health complications and medical expenses. Consider taking precautions to avoid direct contact or inhalation of Roundup and other herbicides.
An Aggressive New York Mass Tort Litigator Will Work for You
At a minimum, know your rights when it comes to potential legal compensation. The lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. continue to monitor these cases and review the evidence. If you’ve noticed unusual health effects, don’t wait to take action. Contact us today to discuss your case.