Roundup Exposure and the Battle for Justice, Part 2: The Battle Continues

Reader Contribution by Douglas Dedrick and Healing Law
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Read Part 1 to this story, published December 2018.

The weedkiller Roundup has long been a topic of controversy, and cause for concern. More and more, we are seeing that the concern surrounding the weed killer was not without reason.

It’s no secret that there are currently a lot of lawsuits pending against Monsanto. In fact, as of 2019, there are over 11,000 lawsuits pending against the company over its Roundup product. Though these cases have been slow-moving, they are moving, and the latest case is not looking good for Monsanto.

Second Lawsuit is Ending in Decision Against Monsanto

Here’s the deal, on March 19th, 2019 a jury unanimously decided that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in the development of Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

This lawsuit is set to be the second case ever to be decided against Monsanto over Roundup. Additionally, it has a lot in common with the first case which was decided in favor of a groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson. This could make Edwin Hardeman, a California resident, may be the second individual to be awarded damages over Monsanto’s Roundup product.

Since, the 1980’s Hardeman, who is now 70, has used Roundup to control weeds on his 56-acre property. His life took a turn when, in 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This form of blood cancer was the same type of cancer Mr. Johnson had developed. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a form of cancer which is commonly thought to be caused by the weedkiller Roundup.

The judge in charge of the trial, Judge Vince Chhabria, split the trial into two parts. In the first part of the trial, the jury was to decide whether Roundup was a “substantial factor” in Mr. Hardeman’s NHL or not. To this question, the jury unanimously said it was. Now, in the second phase of the trial, the jury will determine whether Monsanto should be held responsible for Hardeman’s cancer or not.

Evidence Used in the Case

Hardeman’s case relied on evidence from about 30 studies which link glyphosate, the active compound in Roundup, to a range of cancers, and other biological disorders. One study showed that Roundup can disrupt proper cell division in sea urchins. A second study showed that Roundup, in particular, is more toxic to the human umbilical cord than glyphosate alone.

Additionally, the case also relied heavily on the World Health Organization’s classification of glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” in 2015. This classification has lead to many lawsuits like Hardeman’s, and many of them will be heard throughout 2019.

Multiple 2019 Studies Link Glyphosate Use to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

More and more information is linking Roundup to cancer. Most specifically, chronic use of Roundup appears to be linked to NHL. With all the publicity surrounding these lawsuits, a lot of new studies are being conducted to test Roundup’s safety.

In fact, recent meta-data research conducted in 2019 found that exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides increased the risk of NHL by 41%.

Another study, published in March of 2019, analyzed farmers from Norway, France, and the US. It was found that risks of NHL were elevated in farmers who used glyphosate-based herbicides.

Lawsuits on Roundup Moving Forward

These types of cases are far from over. Another trial is set to begin in April of 2019, and currently, with over 11,000 cases pending against the company, this will not likely be the last of such cases decided against Monsanto. If you want to follow the lawsuits as they unfold, a great source is the “Monsanto Papers”, by the US Right To Know. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come.

UPDATE: Within a few hours of writing this article it came out that the jury awarded Mr. Hardeman $80 million dollars for the damages caused by Roundup.

If you are looking for alternative forms of weed control there are plenty of great alternatives to Roundup. There is a lot of articles on natural weed control on Mother Earth News which are worth checking out. Here are a few:

Control Garden Weeds Organically

Horticultural Vinegar for Weed Control

Late Summer and Fall Intercropping

Read Part 1 to this story, published December 2018.

Douglas Dedrickis landscaper, documentarian and environmental law writer. When he’s not looking for things to investigate, he is usually writing articles about lawn care. Connect with him atHealing Law, and read all of Douglas’ MOTHER EARTH NEWS postshere.

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