Americans Are Taking Monsanto to Court Over Potentially Cancer Causing Weedkiller
CALIFORNIA — July 13, 2018
Federal judge Vince Chhabria has received hundreds of claims alleging that Monsanto's Roundup causes cancer.
More than 400 lawsuits have been filed before Chhabria's court. Meanwhile, Monsanto is facing some 5,000 similar court cases nationwide.
A trial was held on Tuesday. According to the first ruling, it has been found that the chemical glyphosate in Monsanto's weed killer sprays causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
After the judge's ruling, the plaintiffs' next step is to present proof that Roundup caused cancer in separate individuals whose cases will be selected for trials.
"At the hearing, the judge may pose additional questions to verify the evidence so as to ensure consideration for judgment," announced Chhabria.
The first case to be heard is that of a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who doctors say is already dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
He is suing after using the substance. His body at first was covered with a rash, and then in 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Wisner said. Photos of Johnson presented in court showed lesions in his body.
George Lombardi, the attorney for Monsanto, said the disease takes years to develop and thereby argued that Johnson's cancer started prior his use of Roundup.
Earlier the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the chemical is likely "not" carcinogenic to humans, provided it was used in accordance with label directions. Many others scientists supported the study.
In 2015, the World Health Organization, however, classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.
The Monsanto Company insists the allegations are not true.
"[There is] absolutely no connection between glyphosate and cancer," Monsanto said in a statement. The company asserted there are more than 800 scientific studies that can back up their position.
Monsanto Company is an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. Its product Roundup has been in the market since the 1970s. It has since been sold in more than 160 countries. Homeowners usually use Monsanto's Roundup on their lawns and gardens.
In a study published on June 11 in Nature Medicine, researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Karolinska Instituted reported that CRISPR-Cas9 activated the protein p53. However, once the protein gets activated, it lessens the effect of CRISPR-Cas9. On the other hand, if p53 is absent, cancerous cells could grow uncontrollably.
"If transplanted into a patient, as in gene therapy for inherited diseases, such cells could give rise to cancer risk, raising concerns for the safety of CRISPR-based gene therapies." said Dr. Emma Haapaniemi, the first author of the study.
It is also know that dysfunctional p53 proteins can ause ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic, stomach, and liver cancers.