Bayer AG and its unit Monsanto are back in the courtroom defending against claims that their widely used weed killer Roundup causes cancer.
Edwin Hardeman claims he started using Roundup to kill back poison oak and other weeds on his 56-acre property in Sonoma County, California, beginning in the 1980s through 2012. In 2015, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
Hardeman’s lawsuit is the second to go to trial among more than 8,000 alleging exposure to Roundup caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Last August, in a landmark trial, a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding his use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides contributed to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. His award was later reduced to $78 million.
The trial started just days after a new study published in the journal Mutation Research reported that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killers Roundup and Ranger Pro, significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) – as much as 41 percent for those with the highest exposure to the chemical.
“All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same finding: exposure to GBH (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL,” the University of Washington researchers wrote.
The research is the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. It incorporates a recent study of more than 54,000 licensed pesticide applicators, as well as animal studies. Senior author Lianne Sheppard, professor in biostatistics and environmental and occupational health sciences, said her research “convinced” her that glyphosate could cause cancer.
The Environmental Protection agency in a 2017 draft risk assessment concluded that glyphosate was not likely to cause cancer despite the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s classification of glyphosate in 2015 as a probable carcinogen.