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Farmers Sue Monsanto

Farmer walking through plants

Four Nebraska farmers have filed a lawsuit against Monsanto claiming the agrochemical behemoth’s Roundup weed killer gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to the herbicide for many years.

Plaintiffs in the Monsanto lawsuit are farmers Frank Pollard, Royce Janzen, Larry Domina, and Robert Dickey. They accuse Monsanto of purposely misleading consumers about the safety of Roundup weed killer and the herbicide’s main ingredient, glyphosate.

Glyphosate, a chemical compound that serves as the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, was branded as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the IARC, which is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the Monsanto lawsuit, the agrochemical company mislabeled Roundup, choosing to ignore the growing body of scientific research linking Roundup exposure to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A number of case-control studies on occupational exposure to glyphosate conducted in the U.S., Sweden, and Canada have affirmed an increased risk for developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, even when adjusting for other pesticides, according to the IARC report. The report further adds that there is “convincing evidence” that exposure to glyphosate can cause cancer in lab animals.

Cancer-Stricken Farmers Sue Monsanto for Punitive Damages

Monsanto brought in an estimated $4.8 billion in revenue last year from sales of Roundup weed killer alone. The herbicide is applied to “Roundup Ready” crops that are genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup.

According to Eco Watch, Roundup is used on more than 100 varieties of crops in commercial agriculture. In 2001, more than 85 million pounds of Roundup were sprayed on crops in the U.S. By 2007, that number jumped to 185 million pounds.

As the product’s popularity grew over the years, the lawsuit claims that Monsanto continued to market Roundup as safe and effective, denying any link to cancer. Now, studies have found glyphosate in our rivers, groundwater, and streams in areas where Roundup is used. Traces of glyphosate have also been found in food and even in the urine of those exposed to Roundup. Glyphosate traces are even present in the urine of urban residents who don’t have direct contact with the chemical compound, the complaint states.

The four Nebraska farmers are reportedly seeking punitive damages for the defective design of Roundup, as well as negligence, failure to warn, and breach of warranty.

California and Hawaii Farmers Sue Monsanto

The Nebraska farmers join a host of other farmers to sue Monsanto over the Roundup link to cancer.

Widow of Cambria, California Farmer Files Monsanto Lawsuit – March 2016:

The widow of Cambria farmer Jack McCall filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto, claiming exposure to Roundup caused her husband to develop an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. McCall used Roundup on his 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm for about 30 years.

Hawaiian Farmers Sue Monsanto Over Cancer Link – February 2016:

Christine and Kenneth Sheppard, who operated a Hawaiian coffee farm, recently filed a lawsuit against Monsanto claiming the company purposely downplayed the carcinogenic risks associated with glyphosate. The suit further alleges that Roundup exposure caused Christine to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Activists in UK Relabel Monsanto Roundup to Expose Glyphosate Toxicity

Activists across England took to hardware stores and garden centers on Wednesday, May 11 to raise awareness about the health risks associated with Monsanto Roundup weed killer. The activists placed new labels on hundreds of bottles of Roundup, which highlight the herbicide’s link to cancer.

Global Justice Now, a democratic social justice organization, was responsible for distributing the ‘brandalism’ Roundup labels, which included Monsanto’s iconic insignia with slogans like “Degrades Farmers’ Power” and “The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies this product as probably causing cancer.” The Global Justice Now Roundup labels also highlight the billions in profits Monsanto generates on an annual basis.

The cancer link slogan is in reference to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report on glyphosate issued last year.

Aisha Dodwell was one of many Global Justice Now campaigners to participate in the Monsanto Roundup relabeling. Dodwell told RT News that she is concerned that giant agrochemical businesses like Monsanto have too much sway in the political arena. She wants policymakers to “make decisions based on what’s good for public health and farmer's rights, not what’s good for Monsanto’s profit margins.”

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