Two lawsuits against Monsanto have been recently filed, claiming that glyphosate, a substance found in the company’s famous herbicide Roundup causes cancer.
While several independent studies point to the link different types of cancer and some of the active substances at work in the Roundup herbicide, strict regulation on glyphosate continues to lack across the United States.
Nonetheless, former farm worker Enrique Rubio and former horticulturist Judi Fitzgerald claim that it is due to the extensive use of Monsanto’s product throughout their working life that they have developed bone cancer and leukemia respectively.
Both lawsuits are built on the main argument that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is a real threat to public health. Moreover, over the course of years, the company has intentionally mislead and deceived both the public, as well as federal authorities with regard to the threats that the herbicide is posing.
Enrique Rubio is aged 58. Until 1995 he worked as a farmer in Oregon, Texas and California, attending to different types of crops. Throughout his work he came in constant contact with the Roundup herbicide and in 1995 he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His lawsuit was filed on September 22nd with the U.S. District Court, Los Angeles.
Judi Fitzgerald 64 years old. As Mr. Rubio, she came in contact with Roundup during her career as a horticulturist. In 2012, she was diagnosed with CLL. Her lawsuit was filed also on September 22nd, in New York.
Both lawsuits are filed only six months after the World Health Organization has already warned that glyphosate, the main substance in Roundup, as well as other herbicides will be classified as:
“probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Glyphosate is the main active substance in several herbicides as it has the potential to block plant growth. In order to make crops resistant to such a powerful ingredient, Monsanto is also the market leader on genetically modified crops, another controversial topic.
The problem with Roundup and glyphosate is not only that it is harmful to human health, but also that is has been used for so long that weed and other non-crop plants have become overly resistant. As such, higher and higher quantities are being sprayed on crops, in parks and anywhere where herbicide is deemed necessary, with little to no regard to the impact on human health.
The WHO is not the only agency that drew attention to the peril of developing cancer due to exposure to glyphosate. Nonetheless, despite the growing body of evidence that the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup is carcinogen and several bans, the company insists that is
“safer than table salt”.
Photo Credits: Flickr