Nebraska The Latest Battleground In The War Against Glyphosate: Four Farmers Sue Monsanto Over Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma-Roundup Link
The latest salvo in the war against glyphosate has come straight out of corn country, the agricultural heartland of the US, where most people are expected to lean pro-pesticide, pro-herbicide, pro-whatever it takes to increase crop yield in the increasingly challenging life and career of a farmer.
Four Nebraska farmers who have been stricken with non-Hodgikin’s lymphoma have filed suit against the agri-chem giant Monsanto over their use of glyphosate in their herbicide brand Roundup and their failure to label it as a dangerous carcinogen.
While Monsanto continues to maintain that Roundup is “safe enough to drink,” the farmers say their lymphoma cases can be traced to the use of the herbicide. Especially in light of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s recent move to classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” Monsanto and other companies that use glyphosate have yet to label their products as such. According to the lawsuit, that failure to label should require the companies profiting off of these dangerous chemicals to pay, should the predicted occur and someone is stricken ill because of their products.
“Roundup is used by Nebraskans raising everything from grain to grass and tulips to trees. Nothing on the label alerts users to health risks,” said David Domina, the attorney for the farmers. “Nebraskans deserve the benefit of the WHO research, and protection against unknown exposure.”
Indeed, Roundup is literally everywhere. Between 1992 and 2012, US farmers sprayed over 2.6 billion pounds of the stuff on their crops, and last year alone over 185 million pounds was sprayed. That is up from 85 million a year in 2001, and it has been climbing ever since.
“Glyphosate is found in rivers, streams, and groundwater in agricultural areas where Roundup is used,” stated the 48-page complaint. “It has been found in food, the urine of exposed persons, and in the urine of urban dwellers without direct contact with glyphosate.”
The four plaintiffs–Larry Domina, Frank Pollard, Robert Dickey, and Royce Janzen–allege they were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup for many years. Their claims state, among other things, that Monsanto mislabeled the product, denying the “body of recognized scientific evidence linking the disease to exposure to Roundup.”
Monsanto should have no problem reaching a settlement, although it will doubtless take many years; the company made $4.8 billion in sales of Roundup just last year. That’s on top of the money they made selling “Roundup ready” crops that are genetically designed to resist the brutal poison.
Still, even if the case ends in a few farmers suffering from lymphoma getting some help with their medical bills, at least they are helping to shift the conversation to a much-needed one asking why these peddlers of poison are still allowed to shill their deadly products with impunity.