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"We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate," attorney Michael McDivitt said. (Photo: Mahat Tattva Dasa/flickr/cc)

Lawsuits Rack Up Against Monsanto Over Cancer-Linked Herbicide

Agrochemical giant conducted 'prolonged campaign of misinformation' to convince users and government that Roundup was safe

Nadia Prupis

Agrochemical giant Monsanto could soon be hit with a "mass tort" lawsuit over the corporation's Roundup herbicide, which plaintiffs say causes cancer, according to new reporting by Reuters.

The most recent lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Delaware Superior Court, following similar actions around the country which accuse Monsanto of conducting a "prolonged campaign of misinformation" to convince farm workers, consumers, and the federal government that Roundup was safe to use—despite knowing that its main ingredient, glyphosate, was hazardous to human health.

"We can prove that Monsanto knew about the dangers of glyphosate," attorney Michael McDivitt told Reuters. "There are a lot of studies showing glyphosate causes these cancers."

McDivitt's firm is reportedly putting together cases for 50 people. The lawsuits follow recent moves by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a body of the World Health Organization, to label glyphosate a "probable carcinogen" and by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAl/EPA) to put it on the state's blacklist of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.

Reuters reports:

One plaintiff in the Delaware lawsuit, Joselin Barrera, 24, a child of migrant farm workers, claims her non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is related to glyphosate exposure. Elias de la Garza, a former migrant farm worker and landscaper diagnosed with NHL, has a similar claim. Both live in Texas.

The third plaintiff is Judi Fitzgerald, a horticultural worker diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. The Virginia resident joined the Delaware case after asking for dismissal of a similar lawsuit initially filed in federal court in New York.

A previous lawsuit filed in California, Enrique Rubio v. Monsanto, also charges that the plaintiff's exposure to Roundup led to his bone cancer after years of spraying the pesticide on crop fields in Texas, Oregon, and California.

Monsanto has consistently denied that its products are unsafe.

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