America’s most popular weed killer, Monsanto’s Roundup, gave four Nebraska farmers cancer, a new federal lawsuit alleges.
The suit accuses the agribusiness giant of putting people in danger by refusing to label its products as a carcinogen.
Farmers Larry Domina, Frank Pollard, Robert Dickey and Royce Janzen developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system. They allege they developed cancer because of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, a press release from the Domina Law Group says.
Glyphosate was classified as a cancer-causing agent by the World Health Organization, and California following by doing the same.
“Roundup is used by Nebraskans raising everything from grain to grass and tulips to trees. Nothing on the label alerts users to health risks,” attorney David Domina said. “Nebraskans deserve the benefit of the WHO research, and protection against unknown exposure.”
Monsanto regularly puts farmers in danger by not labeling Roundup as a carcinogen, Domina charged. The agribusiness giant made $4.8 billion from Roundup sales in 2015. Monsanto also markets Roundup Ready genetically modified seeds to farmers.
“Monsanto championed falsified data and has attacked legitimate studies that revealed Roundup’s dangers,” the lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Lincoln, alleges. “Monsanto led a campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup is safe.”
Glyphosate appears on a list of chemicals described as known to cause cancer that was issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency on September 4, 2015. The state based its decision on a March 2015 report from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer. The same report found that glyphosate might cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It’s Not the First Suit
Monsanto sued California to try and stop California from listing glyphosate as a carcinogen in January.
Monsanto (NYSE: MON) is a publicly traded company that reported $13.68 billion in revenues on February 29, 2016, data provided by YCharts.com indicates. Monsanto’s revenues have fallen by $1.6 billion over the past year. In February 2015 the chemical company reported sales of $15.28 billion.
The four Nebraskans are not the only farmers who allege they were harmed by Monsanto’s herbicides. In 2012, a French court found that farmer Paul Francois’s memory loss, headaches and stammering were caused by a Monsanto weed killer, Lasso. The court ruled that Francois got sick after inhaling the herbicide for years.
No court date in the Nebraska farmers’ case has been set yet.
The Domina lawsuit could be the first of several against Monsanto in the United States. The Domina Law Group and New York law firm Weitz & Luxemborg are seeking farmers and agriculture workers who believe they were harmed by Roundup.
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