Lawsuits filed against agribusiness giant Monsanto are mounting, with the latest one being filed last week in Delaware.
That lawsuit is just one of a growing number of suits alleging a link between glyphosate exposure and cancer.
Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Three law firms are representing the plaintiffs in the case, which claims that Monsanto “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe,” according to Reuters.
It could be the start of a “mass tort” against Monsanto.
In September, similar lawsuits were filed in New York and California against the company, each of them accusing Monsanto of knowing for years that glyphosate is dangerous to human health.
Monsanto “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe,” the lawsuit states.
“We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate,” said Michael McDivitt, a Colorado-based attorney whose firm is assembling cases for 50 plaintiffs. “There are a lot of studies showing glyphosate causes these cancers.”
McDivitt’s firm hosted town hall meetings in August in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska in a search for more clients.
Monsanto spokeswoman Charla Lord said in an email to Reuters that “Glyphosate is not a carcinogen.” She went on to say, “The most extensive worldwide human health databases ever compiled on an agricultural product contradict the claims in the suits.”
Her words contradict the World Health Organization’s assessment of the chemical. In March, the WHO classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Monsanto has demanded the WHO retract its statement and says it will “vigorously” defend itself against the litigation.
Attorneys behind the Monsanto lawsuits say there is strong evidence that glyphosate may cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Plaintiff in the Delaware lawsuit, 24-year-old Joselin Barrera, is a child of migrant farm workers who blames her own non-Hodgkin lymphoma on glyphosate exposure. Elias de la Garza, a former migrant farm worker and landscaper diagnosed with the blood cancer alleges a similar link. Both live in Texas.
Glyphosate lawsuits aren’t the only threat to Monsanto right now. The company is currently grappling with at least 700 lawsuits filed on behalf of people who allege their non-Hodgkin lymphoma was caused by exposure to Monsanto’s manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during the 1970’s, which the WHO classifies as known carcinogens.