In 1970, Monsanto Company, Inc. discovered the herbicidal properties of glyphosate and began marketing it in products in 1974 under the brand name Roundup®. Roundup® is a broad-spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds but that doesn’t kill the actual crops, which have been genetically-modified (GMO) to be resistant to glyphosate.
When Monsanto first introduced Roundup®, it touted glyphosate as a technological breakthrough: it could kill almost every weed without causing harm either to people or to the environment. Of course, history has shown that not to be true. According to the World Health Organization, the main chemical ingredient of Roundup®—glyphosate—is a probable carcinogen to humans (Group 2A). A copy of the report is attached here.
California has also reviewed the cancer risk of Monsanto’s Roundup® and concluded that glyphosate is known to the State of California under Proposition 65 to cause cancer. Monsanto has fought this designation but their appeals were denied. Therefore, glyphosate was added to California’s cancer causing list as of July 7, 2017.
Many countries around the world have now banned glyphosate because of its toxic properties. Countries where glyphosate is banned include Germany, Belgium, Bermuda, Columbia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and France.
Monsanto has claimed in the press and in court that the product is safe because of “800 tests” showing that glyphosate does not cause cancer. However, it has been uncovered that Monsanto ghostwrote scientific literature that was used to pollute the entire body of scientific literature regarding glyphosate. Many large pharmaceutical and chemical companies engage in this type of scientific manipulation in an effort to hide the truth and sell more products. Ghostwriting, as the name implies, is when a company internally writes or edits a paper and pays a friendly scientist to put their name on it. Not only did Monsanto ghostwrite articles but it also hired an independent scientist in 1999 to determine whether glyphosate was “genotoxic”, which means capable of causing the mechanism of cancer. This scientist, Dr. Perry, was a world-renowned expert and after his initial review recommended Monsanto conduct further tests and studies, which Monsanto did not do.
Additionally, internal company documents now made public show that Monsanto has known for years that its claims that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer aren’t true; in one internal email, top level company executives discussing this issue say that Monsanto “can’t say that Roundup is not a carcinogen as we have not done the necessary testing.”
There are also internal company communications, now made public, that show that when the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, IARC, was about to release its report on glyphosate, Monsanto formulated a plan to “orchestrate outcry” and attack IARC’s credibility, which in fact happened shortly after the release of the report. Fortunately, the scientific community came to the defense of both IARC and their methodology following these bullying attempts by Monsanto.
For nearly 40 years, people across the world have used Roundup® without knowing of the dangers its use poses. Those at risk include farm workers and other individuals with workplace exposure to Roundup®, such as garden center workers, nursery workers, and landscapers as well as those who use the product on their homes, farms, and properties. The Holland Law firm filed one of the first lawsuits against Monsanto to protect the rights of those injured by the use of Roundup®. A copy of the Petition can be found here. The Roundup lawyers at the firm now represent thousands of individuals harmed by this product. Additionally, Holland Law Firm is now receiving referrals from leading law firms around the country to file cases in St. Louis, which is the headquarters of Monsanto.