Since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its 2015 report identifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, several hundred lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer, Monsanto.
According to litigation attorney Timothy Litzenburg, whose firm represents 500 of those plaintiffs, that number could go much, much higher. Speaking to CNN, Litzenburg said “It would not surprise me in the least if there are 2,000 to 3,000 cases by the end of the year.” He also pointed out that Roundup – the herbicide containing glyphosate – “is the most-used herbicide in the world … from the largest farm operations to backyard gardens. It’s ubiquitous.”
Litzenburg also notes that the lawsuits are not about glyphosate by itself. “We are suing because our clients got cancer from Roundup…[it] contains animal fats and other ingredients that increase the carcinogenicity of the glyphosate.”
Monsanto naturally denies all of this. A page on its corporate website cites four decades of “safe use” in more than 160 countries throughout the world – and claims there are over 800 studies demonstrating the safety of the product. A spokesperson for the company also cited a statement issued by the European Chemicals Agency, the heading of which says, “Glyphosate not classified as a carcinogen by ECHA”, pointing out that “…since IARC classified glyphosate, regulatory authorities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia have publicly reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”
What this spokesperson did not say is that increasing evidence is coming out indicating that glyphosate “studies” allegedly “proving” its “safety” were bought and paid for by the company – and were either conducted by Monsanto’s own biostitutes or “ghostwritten” by someone on staff.
And that’s just for starters. Increasingly, it is becoming patently obvious that Monsanto will stop at nothing to maintain the illusion that its flagship product is somehow “safe.”
It should be pointed out that irrefutable scientific evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity has yet to be established. However, independent studies linking glyphosate to cancer, along with the large and growing number of plaintiffs who suffer from cancer and have been exposed to Roundup, constitute compelling circumstantial evidence.
And when it comes to civil litigation, the case hangs upon that preponderance of evidence. Although surely guilty of criminal behavior, corporate “person” Monsanto does not have to be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in order to be held accountable. That is a very high standard, but it does not apply in civil litigation. Furthermore, all the evidence of Monsanto’s activities – fake science, hired Internet trolls, inappropriate relationships with government regulators and more – is certain to cast serious doubt upon the defendant’s credibility.