A number of court cases have resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts in favor of plaintiffs who claimed their use of Roundup, a weedkiller sold at hardware and home-improvement stores across the country, gave them cancer. However, a recent New York Times article noted that many Americans, especially farmers, continue to use the product ().
Despite the looming threat of numerous lawsuits, the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer paid $63 billion in 2018 to acquire Monsanto, the manufacturer of the herbicide. Bayer remains confident that Roundup will continue to make money for the company, even if it eventually is forced to pay billions of dollars to dispose of the legal claims that came along with the purchase.
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is the most widely used agricultural chemical in history. As rising populations increase the demand for food, market analysts project worldwide sales of glyphosate to exceed $12 billion by 2024, despite serious health concerns.
Consumer health advocates have warned of the adverse effects on humans from chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture for decades. The link between Roundup and cancer was firmly established in 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer.
Since then, various countries and municipalities have banned or restricted the use of Roundup, and a number of retailers, including Costco, have stopped selling it. Bayer’s own home country, Germany, has announced a ban of glyphosate by 2023.
But most of the lawsuits have been brought by homeowners and groundskeepers, who account for a tiny percentage of Roundup sales. The vast majority of users are farmers, and Bayer plans to continue to sell them Roundup despite the risks. According to Liam Condon, president of Bayer’s crop science division, the series of lawsuits “doesn’t fundamentally change the rationale” for Bayer’s decision to purchase Monsanto. “We are committed to making sure the product remains available.”
It is disheartening, but not surprising, to see that once again a huge pharmaceutical company is putting its pursuit of profits ahead of safety. Bayer admits that the fact that its product causes cancer will have no impact on its decision whether to sell it. It is long past time to hold these wrongdoers accountable and not allow them to simply pass their legal costs on to the American public.
If you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another form of cancer and have been exposed to Roundup, please call Davis, Bethune & Jones at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.