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 Lawsuits Against Monsanto’s Roundup®

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PostSubject: Lawsuits Against Monsanto’s Roundup®   Sat 19 Nov 2016, 09:26

Lawsuits Against Monsanto’s Roundup®

November 11, 2016
By Catherine J. Frompovich


When I published the article, “Glyphosate Contaminates the Global Ecosystem: The Damning New PAN Report,”  I mentioned a law firm as a resource because of the lawsuits it has filed on behalf of persons damaged by the use of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup®. Roundup’s prime active ingredient is glyphosate, a chemical that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] designated a “probable human carcinogen.”


That law firm is Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, California.  The firm’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing emailed a thank you for mentioning that lawsuit. Robin McCall’s email prompted me to want to know more about their clients and the lawsuits, so I asked her some questions about the firm’s glyphosate case load.

Incidentally, there is a Spanish language link “Demanda Monsanto Roundup” for folks who may want to access the law firm’s information in that language.

What follows are the questions I asked that Ms. McCall so graciously answered, which I think ought to give readers some “food for thought,” especially if you have used Roundup® and have contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

What is your law firm’s Monsanto Roundup® case load and how many cases do you have?
McCall: So far, we represent about 140 people since we started accepting cases in February of 2016. We expect to represent at least 500 people in this litigation and continue to get new cases every week.

What are the ages of your Roundup-damaged clients?
McCall:  Most of our clients are in their 50s and 60s but we represent a boy as young as 10 and adults in their late 70s.  One third of the people we represent are farmers.  The rest are professional landscapers, weekend gardeners, and government workers working for the city, county or state, spraying Roundup® to kill weeds on highways, near ditches, flood control areas, etc.

Are any children among the plaintiffs, since glyphosate has been documented in vaccines? [1]
McCall:  The youngest person we represent is a 10-year-old boy with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His exposure to Roundup started when he was a toddler. His father would spray weeds on a regular basis, as they live out in the country.  The boy did what boys do, running all over the yard.

Are your attorneys aware of the fact that glyphosate has been documented in pharmaceutical vaccines given to children?
McCall:  Yes, our attorneys are familiar with the latest claims being made about glyphosate, including the one about vaccines.

Although this could change, we are currently only filing cases where a person has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after exposure to Roundup® or other glyphosate-based herbicides made by other manufacturers.

Can you please explain the legal aspects of damage to humans, pets and the environment?
McCall: The crux of the individual cases against Monsanto are allegations that the Monsanto Company failed to adequately warn farmers and landscapers that its blockbuster herbicide, Roundup®, causes cancer.

The Monsanto lawsuit also alleges that the agro-chemical giant designed a dangerous and defective product; committed gross negligence in the creation and promotion of Roundup®; and defrauded millions of people about the safety of the herbicide.

Last year, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm (the International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC]) completed a comprehensive analysis on the toxicity of glyphosate, finding the chemical to be a “probable human carcinogen” [Group 2A] [2]

Pets are most definitely affected by Roundup®.  You can find much about it on the web. The U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health published a study in December 2013 from the Interdisciplinary Toxicology journal, titled Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance [3]:
Quote :
In plants, aromatic amino acids collectively represent up to 35% of the plant dry mass (Franz, 1997). This mode of action is unique to glyphosate among all emergent herbicides. Humans do not possess this pathway [shikimate], and therefore we depend upon our ingested food and our gut microbes to provide these essential nutrients. Glyphosate, patented as an antimicrobial (Monsanto Technology LLC, 2010), has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria in animals, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens. [3] [CJF emphasis added]
McCall:  Included in the lawsuit that we filed on behalf of the McCall Family from Cambria, California, for the wrongful death of Jack McCall [4], was a claim for the death of the family’s dog, Duke.  Duke died of lymphoma a few years before Jack McCall died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2015.  Duke ran all over the McCall Farm where Roundup® was sprayed.

We are not aware of other lawsuits that include pets, but that doesn’t mean they are not out there.  We have another client who lost a pet due to cancer, but we have yet to file that case.

Environmental litigation:  There are many lawsuits against Monsanto. These involve PCBs, GMO seeds, Roundup® cancer cases, etc.  Wikipedia has a page dedicated to these lawsuits.  There are many claims about the environmental impact of glyphosate, including in wine (even organic), honey, beer, oats, etc., as well as affecting bees, butterflies, etc.

[Here’s a website listing various trade names of herbicides containing glyphosate.
http://www.ehow.com/list_7240737_trade-names-herbicide-glyphosate.html ]


Are there health problems other than non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

McCall:  Yes.  In addition to NHL there are studies that link glyphosate to these other forms of cancer: bone, kidney, liver, melanoma, pancreatic and thyroid. While we do represent some clients with these other cancers, we are only filing non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases at this time.

Where have the lawsuits been filed: courts and cities?
McCall:  So far, at least 40 cases have been filed in state and federal courts in at least 15 different states. This litigation is still in its early stages but as the lawsuit filings are increasing and collectively law firms have hundreds of cases, it is predicted that this litigation will grow into thousands of cases.
Therefore, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided in early October [2016] that all of the cases filed in federal courts anywhere in the nation, will be consolidated under one judge for purposes of the determining liability against Monsanto. This means that 37 federal cases are being transferred to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria [5] of the Northern District of California in San Francisco [6].

As cases continue to be filed in federal courts, they will be transferred to the MDL (multidistrict litigation). Lawyers who are aware of the consolidation will simply file new cases into the MDL unless they choose to file in state court instead. The MDL is officially named In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL number 2741, in the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

Ten states where federal cases were filed (but are being transferred to the Northern District of California) include: California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

In addition to the federal cases, dozens of state court cases over Roundup® are pending in California, Delaware, Missouri and Pennsylvania, according to the National Law Journal.

According to Brent Wisner, lawyer and partner in Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC, “These cases are ideally suited for pretrial coordination and we were, quite frankly, shocked that Monsanto opposed it. We are excited to get these cases moving before Judge Chhabria and we hope to press these cases to trial as soon as possible.”


Are there any comments from Monsanto about the lawsuits?
McCall:  Monsanto has opposed all of the Roundup® litigation as they deny there is any link between glyphosate and cancer. They file motions in opposition to the lawsuits; to the consolidation of the cases; and they are attacking the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research (IARC), which determined glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.

Monsanto is fighting California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) for deciding to list glyphosate as a carcinogen per Prop 65:
Quote :
Center for Food Safety Moves to Defend California From Monsanto Attack
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4269/center-for-food-safety-moves-to-defend-california-from-monsanto-attack
Monsanto Files Lawsuit to Stop California From Listing Glyphosate as Known Carcinogen
http://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-files-lawsuit-to-stop-california-from-listing-glyphosate-as-k-1882157015.html
Monsanto sues California, says its ‘undemocratic’ for listing glyphosate as a carcinogen
http://www.gmo.news/2016-01-25-monsanto-sues-california-says-its-undemocratic-for-listing-glyphosate-as-a-carcinogen.html
Additionally, there are articles about Monsanto’s opposition to the World Health Organization’s IARC’s “probable carcinogen” study:
Quote :
IARC Scientists Defend Glyphosate Cancer Link; Surprised by Industry Assault
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/iarc-scientists-defend-gl_b_12720306.html
Monsanto Attacks WHO Over Report Linking Roundup to Cancer
http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/03/monsanto-attacks-who-over-report-linking-roundup-to-cancer/

McCall also recommends reading Carey Gillam’s articles about Monsanto at Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/careygillamnewsnow-194


When I asked if there were anything else the law firm wants to share with my readers, McCall said that:
There is an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup® a minimum of eight hours in a day, according to a 2008 Swedish study published in the International Journal of Cancer. This means anyone who uses it around their house is at risk, not just farmers and professional landscapers.

Everyone we represent quit using Roundup® as soon as they learned about its risks.  They no longer want the exposure to Roundup® but they are struggling to find a product that will kill weeds like Roundup®.  There are natural ways to kills weeds, but these take several days longer to kill the weeds than glyphosate products.

McCall also provided the following Baum-Hedlund-produced Monsanto videos:
What is Roundup®?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&v=CsoPYTNmAKk
Roundup® Cancer Attorney Discusses Roundup® Lawsuits
https://youtu.be/CsoPYTNmAKk?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&t=113
Possible Ways Roundup® Can Cause Cancer – Baum Hedlund Attorney Explains
https://youtu.be/mcVsvytuloo?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&t=63
Roundup® Cancer Attorney Discusses Personal Passion to Hold Monsanto Accountable
https://youtu.be/Jz2J4eKkhko?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&t=9
Taking on Monsanto: Widow of Deceased Farmer Discusses Monsanto Roundup® Lawsuit
https://youtu.be/KJ13FuPziDU?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&t=45
Monsanto Roundup® Cancer Lawsuit – Jack McCall
https://youtu.be/l8vHZu5Lr8o?list=PLWV10DaWzaWBO7rltgZvyMQBK3JJXJ2D4&t=33


With all the probable and even possible adverse health effects from glyphosate herbicides, readers undoubtedly are asking if there are any safe and comparably quick-acting, non-toxic alternatives to using glyphosate-based herbicides.  The one that comes to mind immediately for this writer is vinegar!
However, there are several types of vinegar, which are more effective than your average culinary vinegar.  Here is a rundown from the University of Maryland Extension [7] of what’s available:

COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE ACETIC ACID PRODUCTS
Bradfield Natural Horticultural Vinegar – 20% vinegar (acetic acid) + yucca extract. (Bradfield Organics) 1 gal = $21.95 – 39.99. NOT OMRI Listed

Burn-out – 25% acetic acid (St. Gabriel Laboratories). 1 gal $39.95; 2.5 gal conc $99.99
Grotek Elimaweed Weed And Grass Killer – 7.15% acetic acid (GREENSTAR PLANT PRODUCTS)
Maestro Gro’s Organic Vinegar. 20% acetic acid (Ag Organics/Nature’s Wisdom) 1 gal %15.79
Natural Weed Control – 0.2% citric acid, 8% acetic acid + water. (Nature’s Wisdom/Ag Organics). 1 gal $15.97

Soil Mender 10% Vinegar – 10% acetic acid (made from grain alcohol and not from glacial acetic acid), orange oil, molasses, and a natural surfactant. 1 gal RTU $15.29

Vinagreen Natural Non Selective Herbicide – 20% acetic acid (CMC Chemical) 2 gal $59.99 -149.99
Weed Pharm Fast Acting Weed And Grass Killer – 20% vinegar (acetic acid) (PharmSolutions) (Signal word: Danger)

COMBINATION PRODUCTS
Alldown – 23% Acetic Acid, 14% Citric acid (BioLynceus Biological Solutions) 1 gal conc = $53.00 (OMRI organic listed)
Alldown Green Chemistry Herbicide. 5% Citric Acid 0.2% Garlic, + Acetic Acid, Yucca Extracts and water. (SummerSet Products) (OMRI listed organic)
Bioganic Safety Brands Weed & Grass Killer – 10% acetic acid, 2% eugenol (clove oil), 2% thyme oil, 1% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. (Bioganic Safety Brands, Inc.,) Product is fragrant.
Black Jack Twenty-one – 21% acetic acid, Yucca Extract, Olive Oil, Garlic Oil, Citrus Oil and Molasses used as sticking, wetting and emulsifying agents.(Maestro-Gro). 1 gal $14.99- $17.99
Burn Out II Weed and Grass Killer RTU 4% Clove oil, 3% Sodium laurel sulfate, + vinegar, lecithin & citric acid. (St. Gabriel Labs) (OMRI® listed). 1 gal conc $54.90
Burn Out II Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate (St. Gabriel Labs) 12% Clove oil, 8% Sodium laurel sulfate, + vinegar, lecithin & citric acid. (St. Gabriel Labs) 1 gal $49.99; 2.5 gal $99.99
Summerset Alldown® Organic Herbicide. 23% Acetic Acid, 14% Citric acid, with 0.02% garlic juice extract. 1 gal conc $59.99
Additionally, I use a half-cupful of distilled culinary vinegar in my laundry load along with a vegetable-based liquid laundry detergent and my laundry always is clean and bleach (sodium hypochlorite)-free.
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