Monsanto Roundup Cancer Attorney - Edward A. Smith

Roundup Cancer Scientific evidence is mounting that Roundup™ is a causative factor in the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. The giant agricultural herbicide manufacturer, Monsanto, vigorously denies the correlation. However, multiple lawsuits counter the denials with evidence that consumer trust was violated. Litigants and Ed Smith, a Roundup Cancer lawyer, are also trying to halt Monsanto’s misinformation about this herbicide to prevent it from claiming more lives. The evidence that Roundup™ is indeed carcinogenic has led to a worldwide outcry against its use. Let’s take a look at Roundup™, its history, use, cost, and sales as well as its link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). We’ll also take an in-depth look at this cancer and Roundup™’s carcinogenicity.

Choose an Experienced Sacramento Roundup Cancer Lawyer

Corporate responsibility means more than making money for shareholders. If a product is flawed or dangerous, it is necessary to remove it from the marketplace or fix it. Scientific evidence is mounting from all over the world, that Roundup™ is causing harm to farmers, gardeners, land custodians, and other consumers. It is found in the food we eat, the water we drink and even mother’s milk. It is capable of crossing the placenta and causing harm to unborn babies. If you or someone you love has become ill, been diagnosed with cancer or died due to Monsanto’s Roundup™, call Ed Smith, a Roundup Cancer lawyer who has the resources and experience to help you collect the damages you deserve for your Sacramento Roundup cancer lawsuit. He can be reached at (800) 404-5400, nationwide or (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento, California area.

What Is Roundup™?

Roundup™ is the brand name of a chemical compound known as glyphosate. Ito acts by inhibiting a specific plant enzyme called 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase. This leads to the plant’s death. By using this substance, farmers and yard owners are able to keep weeds, including dandelions, kudzu, poison ivy, and others as well as grass and other broadleaf plants, from growing. Monsanto owns Roundup™ herbicide. Its patent for Roundup™ has long since expired, and many off-brand glyphosate substitutions are used worldwide. As a Roundup cancer lawyer, I am taking Monsanto to task for the damage that has and is being done by their product. 

Dangers of Roundup

Scientists around the globe are cautioning farmers as well as gardeners and those in charge of forest land about hidden dangers consistent with Roundup™ use. A Roundup cancer lawyer can investigate your case to see if Roundup™ is responsible for your cancer or that of your loved one. Some of them are:

  • It is carcinogenic: In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a World Health Organization research institute, called Roundup™ carcinogenic. Aside from the ability to cause cancer in humans, evidence of DNA and chromosomal damage was found.
  • It causes altered antibiotic sensitivity: Glyphosate causes microbes to undergo multiple antibiotic sensitivity changes. This was found in both Escherichia coli and a specific strain of Salmonella. When this occurs, antibiotics from six classes were changed 6-fold. By changing antibiotic resistance of pathogens, the effects of antibiotics may be downgraded and provide the groundwork for even greater antibiotic resistance down the line. Since farm animals are often exposed to Roundup™, the number of antibiotics used may be increased due to decreased effectiveness.
  • It harms human endocrine levels: Roundup™ was found to damage human cells that produce hormones. In particular, the hormone progesterone was affected. The amount of glyphosate needed to do this was that legally permitted in drinking water in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure to glyphosate is harmful to people. However, researchers found that Roundup™ did this more than glyphosate by itself. The theory is that other substances in Roundup™ act synergistically to bring about cell damage. This also shows that current levels permitted in the United States may need to be revised downward. 
  • Causative agent in fatal chronic kidney disease (CKD): Roundup™ is suspected as the causative agent in deadly chronic kidney disease. The disease is seen as toxic nephrology (toxic disease of the kidneys). It became prevalent in Sri Lanka beginning in the 90s. Glyphosate became widely used in the area as a herbicide in the same time period. It is hypothesized that the herbicide’s ability to bind metal ions by chelation in the hard water found in this area to form heavy metals that damage the kidneys and other organs. It might also explain the large numbers of CKD in regions of India and Central America where Roundup™ is and was routinely used.
What Is Monsanto?

Monsanto was an American company originally located in Missouri and was founded in 1901. It was an agricultural chemical and biotechnology company. As such, it manufactured pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and nematicides as well as modifying living organisms through the use of genetic engineering. It manufactured DDT, Agent Orange, and PCB, all controversial substances. In 2018, it was acquired by Bayer AG for a reputed $66 billion despite Bayer shareholder concerns that Monsanto’s bad reputation due to Roundup™ would cause financial risk for Bayer.

The History of Roundup

In 1970, a chemist working for Monsanto studied compounds sent to his department from another division within the company. He looked to see how the compounds metabolized within plants. It was his theory that a useful substance might be isolated, and he would be able to artificially duplicate it. The new synthetic compound was called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup™ weed killer.

Selective and Non-Selective Herbicides

Prior to Roundup™, herbicides were mostly selective. This means that they could be used to kill weeds but not the crop since they affected targeted plants only. This meant, however, that different herbicides would be needed, depending on what was happening in the field or yard. Glyphosate was non-selective and killed anything with which it came into contact. It was first sold in 1974. It was a strong chemical that the company insisted was safer than any other offered in the past. In 1994, Roundup™ weedkiller was named one of the top products that changed agriculture by Farm Chemicals Magazine. Roundup™ for lawns was later developed to rid lawns of dandelions and other weeds. The company touts it as being safe to walk on as soon as it is dried. It is known that if pets come in contact with wet Roundup™, it can cause neurological and gastrointestinal illness.

Next Level Changes - Roundup Ready Seeds

At the beginning of the 1980s, Monsanto was investing heavily in biotechnology. They explored ways to genetically modify crops so that they were resistant to Roundup™. Since Roundup™ was non-selective, it killed both plants and weeds and could only be applied before the crops were planted. By making the seeds resistant to the herbicide, farmers could apply the chemical to the entire field anytime they wanted.

Monsanto’s scientists were able to isolate and incorporate into their seeds a specific gene from the soil-based bacterium, Agrobacterium strain CP4, which causes tumors in plants. This gene codes for a Roundup™ insensitive form of the plant enzyme that the herbicide targets. This means that Roundup™ would be unable to kill the plant, just the weeds around it, extending the use of the herbicide.

Crops With Roundup™ Ready Seeds

The following food crops are Roundup™ resistant:

  • Buckwheat
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Flax
  • Lentils
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rye
  • Soybeans
  • Sugar beets
  • Sunflowers
  • Wheat
Amount of Glyphosate Used

The amount of glyphosate used has increased dramatically since its inception. In 1974, 0.36 kilograms ( 793,664 pounds) was used. By 1995, one year before Monsanto came out with Roundup™ resistant soybeans (first to be commercialized), 12.5 million kilograms (27,557,782.77 pounds) were in use. In 2000, several years after the introduction of resistant seeds, 36 million kilograms (79,366,414 pounds) were used. This represented 80 percent of the total national herbicide use.

Sales of Roundup™

In 2015, the last year that information is available, Monsanto made $4.76 billion in sales of Roundup™ products. Since the patent for Roundup™ has expired, Monsanto’s market share of revenue is dwindling. The company has switched its focus to Roundup™ resistant seeds. Some of the seeds are going off patent also. However, new seeds targeting different plant species are under development. In addition, Monsanto has developed a new genetic trait called Roundup™ Ready 2 Xtend. Seeds using this are resistant to both Roundup™, and another popular herbicidal substance called dicamba.

Cost of a Bag of Roundup™ Ready Seeds

The cost of a bag of Monsanto Roundup™ resistant seeds has risen dramatically. Since farmers are dependent on Roundup™, the increased cost of the seeds causes economic problems for them. Most farmers in the past used to save seeds from one planting season to another, allowing them to not just save money but to choose the hardiest seeds they could find. Roundup™ seeds are also referred to as terminator seeds since their genetic modification makes them sterile. This means that farmers must buy new seeds for each planting season. The glyphosate-resistant plants account for 57 percent of global glyphosate use.

Where Is Roundup™ Used?

The use of Roundup™ has expanded beyond the farm. Today, it is routinely used in urban and rural environments, forests and applications around the home. Foods also have a detectable level of Roundup™. For instance, in 2018, evidence of Roundup™ in oat-based breakfast cereals was reported. This includes popular brands such as Quaker Oats and Cheerios, which are commonly eaten by children of all ages and adults. Out of 45 samples of conventionally grown cereals, snack bars, granola, and oatmeal tested by the Environmental Working Group, 43 were positive for detectable levels of glyphosate. Although some of the items were marketed as GMO-free, the tests revealed that they were not. Organically tested specimens had a considerably lower amount of glyphosate.

Ban on Roundup™ Around the Globe

The European Union has attempted to ban the use of this herbicide. However, its use was extended in 2017 for an additional five years despite strong civilian and member state opposition. A ban is in effect in the following countries:

  • Belgium: This country banned the use of glyphosate by individuals in 2017. It was one of the countries that voted against the use of glyphosate in the EU. Newspaper reports stress the wide held belief that Monsanto influenced safety reports in the past that were false. Individual cities such as Brussels had already banned its use.
  • Bermuda: New imported orders of glyphosate were banned in 2015. This is a temporary measure until research is completed. Bermuda has since outlawed both private and commercial sales.
  • Columbia: This country stopped using aerial spraying of glyphosate to destroy coca leaves since farmers complained of loss of entire coffee producing fields and other produce. Its ban was changed in 2017 to allow ground spraying only.
  • El Salvador: A glyphosate ban was set in 2015. The ban cited a study linking kidney disease to use of the herbicide.
  • France: In 2017, a total ban on glyphosate has been scheduled to begin in 2020.
  • Germany: Regulation to ban glyphosate is pending a legislative vote.
  • India: India has voiced grave concerns about the use of glyphosate, and one state in the country, Punjab, has banned its use.
  • Italy: Italy has voted for the EU to ban glyphosate and has restricted its use in public areas.
  • Middle Eastern Area: This includes Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. These countries have halted the use of glyphosate.
  • Netherlands: All non-commercial use of glyphosate is banned.
  • Portugal: The country has banned its use in public places, and the head of the medical association in Portugal has called for a worldwide ban.
  • Sri Lanka: A total ban was issued in 2014. It was based on a scientific study linking glyphosate to fatal chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is the second leading cause of male deaths. The country was the first to institute a total ban on the use of glyphosate.
Banning Glyphosate in the United States

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of reviewing glyphosate in light of its designation as a probable human carcinogen by an international group of scientists. The EPA took public comments up until April 2018, and its decision is awaited. In the meantime, many cities and states such as in California have banned its use. California added the chemical to its Proposition 65 list, warning the public about its cancer-causing properties. However, as of December 2018, glyphosate is not generally banned in the United States.

Watch YouTube Video: The video by Panteras Panteralandia below shows a lobbyist refusing to drink glyphosate after saying it was safe to drink.

Cancer and Roundup™

Roundup is one of the most common herbicides used today. Not only is it used in agriculture, but is commonly used in public places such as parks, including amusement parks, school grounds, playgrounds and on weeds growing near sidewalks and roads. Not only do foods contain Roundup™ but it is also found in breast milk and in the urine of individuals. It is capable of damaging the placenta and crosses it, possibly causing birth defects. In 2015, the World Health Organization linked it to a wide array of cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, renal cancer, pancreatic and skin cancer. These conclusions were published in the British medical journal, Lancet. Some other studies are:

  • The Flowers study, done in 2004, showed that children exposed to Roundup™ had a much higher incidence of childhood cancers, including NHL.
  • Another 2004 study confirmed that Roundup™ could cause dysregulation at the cellular level, a hallmark of cancer.
  • A Swedish study in 1999 showed the link between Roundup™ and NHL.
  • A study looked at rats fed a diet of GMO corn or non-GMO corn with minuscule Roundup™ residue. Both male and female rats developed cancerous tumors.
  • A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives was able to show that human placental cells were damaged within 18 hours of exposure to Roundup™, even at commercially acceptable levels.
  • A study was published in Toxicology in 2009 (Celine Gasnier et al., “Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Are Toxic and Endocrine Disrupters in Human Cell Lines”) that showed that liver DNA was damaged at levels lower than commercially approved.
  • A 2009 study showed that glyphosate caused oxidative stress, leading to neural cell death. Oxidative stress has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 

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What Is the Lymphatic System?

An understanding of the lymphatic system helps us understand non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lymphatic system is made up of a series of nodes connected by vessels. The vessels are tube-like and spread throughout the body. The vessels or tubes carry a liquid called lymph that is colorless. The lymph contains white blood cells that fight infection. Lymph nodes are spread throughout the body. Some are deep, and others are close to the skin such as those found in the groin or in the neck and under the arms. In addition, the tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus are also considered a part of the lymphatic system.

The Lymphatic System Removes Waste and Fights Disease

Fluid (called interstitial fluid) from the arteries supplies the body’s cells with nutrients. Afterward, it leaves the tissues, carrying waste products out of the cells. The waste also contains abnormal cells such as cancer cells as well as invasive organisms. While the majority (90 percent) of the fluid leaving the tissue goes into the venous circulation, the remaining 10 percent continues as lymph.

The lymph is carried to the nodes through afferent or incoming vessels and passes through the lymph nodes, where it is filtered, and waste products are captured. The filtered lymph is taken out of the lymph nodes through efferent (outgoing vessels) and taken to the subclavian vein.

What Is Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is cancer originating in the lymphatic system. There are different forms of lymphoma. The major division is between Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They are treated differently and are differentiated by the way they look when examined under the microscope. Hodgkin’s lymphoma has Reed-Sternberg cells, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer that begins with the overgrowth of a specific type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. It occurs when the lymphocytes start to grow erratically, without control.

These cells that are a part of the immune (lymphatic) system are used to fight disease. There are many different types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, depending on the type of lymphocyte and its cellular structure. It can occur in both adults and children, and the treatment for each group differs. It is the seventh most frequent cause of death from cancer in the United States. It is also less common in females than males, and its incidence increases with age. Of all countries, North America is the top region for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Indolent (Slow Growing) Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Sometimes, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be slow growing or indolent. Of the types of lymphoma that are indolent, follicular lymphoma is the most frequently seen. This type affects the lymph node and can migrate to the spleen and bone marrow. It is most often found in individuals over 50. Patients are closely watched. There are other types of indolent lymphoma. Indolent lymphomas are also called low-grade NHL.

Aggressive Lymphoma

Aggressive types include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Overall, this is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and accounts for 33 percent of the cases. It proliferates quickly in the nodes and may affect the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Its symptoms include night sweats, fever, and weight loss. This aggressive type is also referred to as high-grade NHL.

How Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) Is Differentiated

The are two types of lymphocytes that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can strike. These are called B-cell NHL or T-cell NHL. About 85 percent of those with NHL have the B-cell type. T-cell NHL is seen most commonly in teenagers and young adults. Follicular lymphoma accounts for 20 percent of all cases and is the next most common type.

How Is NHL Diagnosed?

Usually, if NHL is suspected, a biopsy will be done on an affected lymph node. The tissues seen in the lymph node will be used to grade it, determine whether it is a B-cell or T-cell NHL, identify the proteins on its surface, what the cells look like and whether there have been genetic changes in the cells. By doing this, your doctor will determine how to treat it. X-rays and MRIs can also be used to diagnose the disease.

Where NHL Can Be Found in the Body

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma can be found anywhere since the lymphatic system extends throughout the body. It is usually first discovered in the lymph nodes found in the neck. Twenty-five percent of those with NHL have disease outside of the lymph nodes. This is called extranodal NHL. Some of the organs it can affect are:

  • Brain
  • Bones
  • Eye (uncommon)
  • Liver
  • Skin
  • Small intestine
  • Spleen
  • Stomach
  • Testicles
Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The following are symptoms seen with NHL:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
Treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Since there are so many types of NHL, the kind of treatment regimen varies. Some options are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Combination therapies
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
Causes of NHL

Factors that may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:

  • Exposure to herbicides such as Roundup™
  • Exposure to insecticides
  • Infections (HIV, Epstein-Barr virus and H.Pylori)
  • Being 60 or older
  • Using immunosuppressant drugs

Watch YouTube Video: What You Need to Know about Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In the educational video below, medical oncologist Steven Horwitz discusses the diagnosis and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Roundup Lawsuit

As of August 2018, 8,000 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer's Monsanto. One case heard and tried in San Francisco, held that a school groundskeeper, Dwayne Johnson, developed cancer due to using Roundup™ on the job. The jury awarded him $289 million in financial damages. A large part of the damages was directed at punishing Monsanto. The breakdown in the jury’s award was $250 million in punitive damages with $39 million in compensatory damages. The outcome of this trial created a precedent for additional cases where the plaintiffs developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using the herbicide. Johnson’s case was the first to be heard since under California law someone who is near death can be given a speedy trial.

Would Johnson Live to See Trial's Outcome?

It was questionable that Johnson would live to see the trial’s outcome. A doctor testified that he has already outlived his life expectancy with the disease given his clinical situation. The father of three and husband wanted to live long enough to see justice served. Monsanto, on the other hand, did not agree with the trial’s outcome and said they plan to appeal. The company said it would defend its product vigorously.

Dwayne Johnson's lawsuit against Monsanto claimed that he used Roundup™ at least 20 to 30 times each year in his employment at a school near San Francisco. On one occasion, he was directly exposed to the herbicide and two years after was diagnosed with NHL. He since has developed cancerous lesions on 80 percent of his body. His wife has become the breadwinner and works two full-time jobs to support their family and help pay for Johnson's medical expenses. Monsanto’s VP of Strategy said the company feels bad for Johnson and understands that he wants answers but that their product is not it.

Proving Roundup™ Caused Cancer

During the trial, Johnson was obligated to prove that the herbicide caused his cancer. While he did not have to prove it was the only cause, he did need to show that if it were not for his use of glyphosate, his cancer would not have happened. His attorney said that just as it was with proving that tobacco products cause cancer, it was the same for those who developed it from Roundup™. It may have been enhanced by other substances in Roundup’s™ formulation. An additional 400 cases have already been filed in federal multidistrict litigation or MDL, each with their own trial.

A Federal Judge Allows More Lawsuits to Move Forward

In July 2018, a federal judge charged with overseeing hundreds of Roundup™ cancer lawsuits allowed the plaintiff’s injured by Monsanto's Roundup™ to present testimony from experts as to the herbicide’s carcinogenicity and the company’s actions to deny information concerning the cancer risk to consumers.

A Dedicated Monsanto Roundup Cancer Attorney 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Roundup Cancer Lawyer. Since 1982, I have always fought to protect those who have been hurt by large companies who place profit over the welfare of consumers. I have the necessary experience as a Roundup cancer lawyer and the resources needed to take your Sacramento Monsanto lawsuit to court to obtain the compensation you and your family deserve. As a Monsanto Roundup cancer lawyer, I can prepare your lawsuit nationwide, claiming both reckless and intentional behavior by Monsanto. People who put their trust in Monsanto are now sick, and in some cases, family members have lost their loved one due to the company’s lies. Call me at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice. You can contact me online also if you wish.

I’ve helped others with lawsuits including wrongful death, and I’ll try to help you too as a Roundup cancer attorney. I’ve won more than $1 million for a client, and because of it, I have been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates.

If you want to learn more about my practice, look at the following pages to read client and peer reviews as well as the way prior cases of all types were resolved:

Photo Attribution: RoundUp™ Monsanto | by JeepersMedia RoundUp™ Monsanto; Lymphatic System by Thinglink.com.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.16.19]

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