Roundup is the brand name for a popular herbicide that may cause cancer in some of those using it. If you used this weed killer and later developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you may receive compensation for your injuries and the harm you suffered.
Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP represents people seeking justice because their lives are derailed by cancer that Roundup may have caused. Our attorneys will zealously defend your legal rights to compensation and work to get you the best outcome possible.
What is Roundup?
Roundup is the brand name for a popular herbicide first sold in 1974 to farmers and later marketed to homeowners. The chemical company Monsanto first developed and sold it. They were bought in 2018 by German drug and chemical giant Bayer, which now makes and sells Roundup.
Roundup’s active ingredient is glyphosate. This chemical can kill or at least harm nearly any plant it contacts. The plant absorbs it down to the roots. Glyphosate prevents the plant from creating proteins needed for it to live. If enough Roundup is applied, the plant dries out and dies in days or weeks.
Glyphosate’s the most widely used herbicide by farmers and the second most popular among homeowners. According to the Deseret News, a recent government study of 2,310 urine samples from people throughout the country found:
- 1,885 contained glyphosate
- 87% of the children tested had glyphosate in their samples
About 125,000 Roundup lawsuits were pending against Monsanto when Bayer bought the company.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
It’s a cancer involving white blood cells called lymphocytes, according to the American Cancer Society. They’re part of the body’s immune system. There are many types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The difference between the two is Hodgkin’s lymphoma shows a particular cell (the Reed-Sternberg cell).
The disease most often affects older adults, though children can develop it too. NHL usually starts in lymph glands, nodes, or lymph tissues. The lymph system runs throughout your body. It protects you from infections, maintains body fluid levels, absorbs fats, and removes cellular waste. The disease can start anywhere lymph tissue’s present.
The disease is divided by types of lymphocytes that are affected, B and T-cells. NHL can be slow (indolent) or fast-moving (aggressive). If not brought under control, lymphoma will spread throughout the lymph system and into organs.
NHL is treated with chemotherapy drugs and radiation. Immunotherapy may also be used. It boosts the patient’s immune system or uses artificial versions of the immune system to kill lymphoma cells or slow their growth. High chemotherapy doses could be combined with infusions of bone marrow cells from the patient or another person.
The prognosis of someone with NHL depends on their age, overall health, how much treatment they’ve had, type of NHL, and how widespread it is. For NHL overall, the five-year survival rate is 73%. That means that those diagnosed with NHL are, on average, about 73% as likely as people in the general population to be alive for at least five years after the date of diagnosis. Given the NHL type and how wide it spreads, the five-year survival rate can range from 57% to 97%.
What’s the Connection Between Roundup and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Research and studies are contradictory. Many experts don’t feel there’s a connection, while others do. The World Health Organization has issued a decision that glyphosate probably causes cancer, while after reviewing research, the federal Environmental Protection Agency came to the opposite conclusion (though a federal court has ordered the agency to reconsider its decision).
There are three types of evidence supporting the belief glyphosate increases the risk of developing NHL, according to Very Well Health.
- Laboratory experiments Exposing lymphocytes to glyphosate resulted in DNA changes, and exposing breast tissue to the chemical caused tumors to develop.
- Animal experiments The International Agency for Research on Cancer states there’s sufficient evidence of glyphosate causing cancer in animals to justify a warning it probably does the same in humans. A review of several animal studies found relatively strong evidence the chemical can lead to lymphomas, kidney tumors, and tumors of blood vessels. Other tumors occurred, too, including those of the skin, adrenal gland, and liver. Another study found glyphosate mutated cells that play a role in B-cell NHL and another blood-related cancer, multiple myeloma.
- Population-based studies When looking at large groups of people, studies show an association between Roundup and NHL:
- The incidence of the disease is higher in those with on-the-job exposure to glyphosate-containing herbicides or who live near farms routinely sprayed with herbicides
- A 2008 Swedish study of people from age 18 to 74 found a strong association between herbicides in general (glyphosate specifically) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. People with glyphosate exposure were twice as likely to develop NHL
- A 2019 review of six studies found that those with the highest glyphosate exposure were 41% more likely to develop NHL. The authors noted that there are links between high levels of exposure and suppressed immune systems (a poorly performing immune system will have a more difficult time destroying malignant cells) and the type of genetic changes often seen with NHL
These studies found NHL was more likely among those heavily exposed to glyphosate, but that doesn’t necessarily establish glyphosate caused the disease.
What’s the Status of Roundup Lawsuits?
The US Supreme Court in June rejected Bayer’s effort to end thousands of Roundup lawsuits, according to CNBC. The court didn’t overturn a $25 million judgment for Edwin Hardeman, a California man who claims Roundup he used for decades caused his NHL
Bayer argued federal regulators have repeatedly determined Roundup is safe, so lawsuits based on state law claiming otherwise should be dismissed. The Supreme Court disagreed. Recently Bayer successfully defended itself in four state court trials against plaintiffs claiming the herbicide caused their cancer.
Last year, Bayer set aside $4.5 billion to address these lawsuits. The company claims Roundup is safe, but it will replace glyphosate in products meant for residential use. Products for professional and farm use will still contain the chemical.
Do You Want to Learn More About Your Legal Rights and Roundup Lawsuits?
If you have questions about your rights to compensation because Roundup caused your NHL or a family member exposed to the herbicide died of NHL, the skilled product liability attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. are here for you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from our defective product law firm.