A woman named Yolanda Mendoza today is living every single day like it is her last on earth. She is a mother of three and is currently healthy, but it has been a big change from three years ago. That is when she was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She battled for five months with the deadly cancer, and her children only were allowed to see her once per week. There were many times when she thought she would die. However, Mendoza said there were many times that her children helped her to battle through.
After she had several months of intense chemotherapy, the cancer is in remission. However, Mendoza now is fighting a battle against the product that she believes made her so ill: the popular weed killer called Roundup. She says that she used a backpack sprayer once per week on her property.
A Brief History of Roundup
Roundup has been in production since the 1970s, but it became very popular in the 1990s when Monsanto came out with Roundup Ready crops, which have been genetically modified to resist the chemical so that farmers may spray it on crops without regard to where it is being sprayed.
The original Roundup was first used in the US and Canada in 1976; the original formulation allowed farmers to kill most weeds that come out of the soil. This greatly decreased the need to till to control weed growth and this also reduced soil erosion.
Roundup was believed at the time to decompose into natural elements, including carbon dioxide, ammonia and phosphoric acid.
It was in 1979 when Monsanto began to spend a lot of money on biotechnology, and it was at that point when crops were modified genetically so that they could be sprayed liberally with Roundup without negative effects.
Since those changes were made in the 90s, Monsanto has sold billions of dollars of the chemical. In 2015, Monsanto took in $5 billion in profits for various Roundup products.
She noted recently that she would strap the device on full of Roundup and would spray her one acre lot.
Her attorney is representing Mendoza, and she is far from alone in her pain and suffering. She and dozens of others are suing Monsanto, which is the agriculture corporation that discovered the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate. The attorney noted that her clients used Roundup often both at work and home.
The attorney, Robin Greenwald, told the media that most of her clients are landscapers, farm workers, and some also are farmers. She added that all of her clients have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and all used Roundup often.
The attorney and others are basing the cancer claim for Roundup on a report in 2015 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC. It determined that glyphosate is most likely a carcinogen. The report noted that glyphosate has been confirmed to cause cancer in laboratory animals. It also has been found that the chemical can damage DNA in human cells.
However, Donna Farmer, Ph.D., has spent years studying the chemical at Monsanto and she does not agree with IARC’s cancer findings. She says that glyphosate is very safe, and that it appears that IARC cherry picked data and that they interpreted studies differently than the researchers who actually did the work.
Farmer thinks that glyphosate targets several enzymes in plants that are not in humans or animals. She added that long term studies by Monsanto and independent labs have shown that the chemical is not a carcinogen.
For people such as Mendoza who say that Roundup made them ill, Farmer insists that the product did not cause the cancer. She added that even if the person used Roundup every week for a long time, there is no reason to believe that the product causes cancer.
The EPA also has stated that glyphosate does not pose any type of cancer risk in humans. Dr. David Eastmond, a toxicologist, stated recently that IARC was focused on hazard identification and the EPA always focuses only on risk. Risk is a much more involved process because it involves not just the chance that the product can cause cancer, but that it is likely to cause cancer under a certain set of circumstances. He believes that the risk of Roundup for causing cancer is ‘modest and probably very small.’
The EPA is continuing to evaluate glyphosate and the agency is taking the IARC report into consideration. It will release an update on the safety of the product by the end of 2016.
Personal injury attorneys are also claiming that evidence has shown that Monsanto has known for many years that glyphosate is actually a carcinogen, but did not warn consumers. The note that they believe that the company continued to market Roundup even though they were aware of serious health risks associated with it.
Meanwhile, the Monsanto website continues to state that regulatory authorities and other independent experts have found that there is ‘no evidence’ that glyphosate causes any type of cancer.
One attorney stated that while he would not put it in a drink and consume it, it is actually a very safe chemical. There is no doubt that there continues to be plenty of controversy about Roundup, and this will not go away soon.
Are You Ill From Roundup?
For people who think that their health has been negatively affected by Roundup, it would be a good idea to have a consultation with an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. It could be that a product liability lawsuit could provide you with funds so that you can get the essential medical care that you need.
Of course, every potential legal case will vary based upon individual circumstances. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you believe that Roundup has played a role in it, you should contact us so that we can go over your medical history in detail to see if there is a possible legal case.