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RoundUp Weed Killer: The Facts About Glyphosate

Bayer AG’s RoundUp weed killer has been under the spotlight for a few years now. There have been multiple cases against Bayer. The jury on a recent case awarded $2 billion to a couple who claimed that both of their Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases are a result of using Bayer’s product. More than 13,000 more cases are still pending (Bruek, 2017). This not only affects investors in Bayer AG, but also the thousands of farmers that depend on RoundUp to help their crops survive (Bloomberg, 2019). So if some farmers are still relying on this product, what makes it so dangerous? Take a look at some of the facts.

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is a type of herbicide. This product prohibits the growth of specific proteins that plants (like poison ivy, kudzu and other weeds) need to grow. The product is typically found in yards, parks, crop fields or anywhere general landscaping has happened. There are more than 750 products on the market in the United States that use Glyphosate, but the most commonly known product is RoundUp (NPIC, March 2019).

Is Glyphosate immediately dangerous?

When not administered per label instructions, yes, the product can cause immediate reactions. Skin and eyes may become irritated when in direct contact with Glyphosate-based products (GBPs) such as RoundUp. The herbicide may also be inhaled while being sprayed. Failure to wash hands after using GBPs may result in ingestion while eating or smoking. Excessive salivation, itching, burning, nausea, vomiting and/or lethargy may occur in humans or pets that come in direct contact with products such as RoundUp (NPIC, March 2019).

What do studies suggest?

The World Health Organization has officially declared Glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen” (IARC, 2017; NPIC, March 2019). Most corn, soy and cotton products contain traces of the herbicide (National Geographic, 2015; Bloomberg, 2019). According to National Geographic, “Glyphosate is not included in the U.S. government’s testing of food for pesticide residue s or the monitoring of chemicals in human blood and tissues.” This frightening realization means there is really no way of knowing exactly how many people have had extreme exposure to GBPs.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been the main type of cancer to develop due to long term use of GBPs. There are three main cases that have been taken to court against Bayer, and in all three cases the plaintiffs contracted Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the thousands of more cases previously mentioned, the majority were filed by lawn care professionals and gardeners just like these first three cases.

The negative effects of GBPs may extend past cancer. One study found that Glyphosate might extend past just one generation. In the same way one passes genes from parent to offspring, it is suggested that succeeding generations need to be examined for “generational toxicology of Glyphosate” (Kubsad et al., 2019). Another study showed young pigs that were fed soybeans treated with GBPs experienced genetic deformities (Myers et al., 2016).

Moving Forward

Almost 30 countries around the world have taken steps towards banning GBPs entirely. Multiple states in the US have begun doing the same (BHA&G, 2019). Since the topic of GBPs is so controversial, there have been a large number of articles written and studies completed to dig up more scientific information both supporting and discrediting the topic. Most of these sources have one thing in common. They agree that up-to-date scientific evidence regarding Glyphosate use is long overdue (Myers et al., 2016).

As studies continue to develop, we are here to help you. If you or a loved one has been exposed to RoundUp and has developed Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, contact Lewis and Feldman today, Birmingham, AL’s Most Trusted Attorneys. We are working with several firms handling these cases, and we are here to help you with yours.