A California woman profiled in a CBS Morning News story earlier this year has filed suit against Monsanto, claiming that the company’s Roundup weed killer caused her non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Yolanda Mendoza used Roundup to spray her one-acre property every week. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After five months of intensive chemotherapy, she is in remission. Mendoza and 30 others are suing Monsanto, saying that Roundup’s main ingredient -- glyphosate -- caused their cancers.
Besides Mendoza, the plaintiffs include farmers, landscapers and migrant farm workers. They base their claims on a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization, that placed glyphosate in Group 2A on its list of chemicals that may cause cancer. A Group 2A listing means that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The report said that glyphosate caused cancer in lab test animals and was also found to cause damage to DNA in human cells.
A Monsanto spokesperson said the company and independent researchers have studied glyphosate for more than 20 years and found no evidence that it causes cancer. The company said that if the product is used properly, it is safe for even daily use.
The EPA has also said that glyphosate does not cause cancer, but said that it is in the process of reevaluating the chemical, which is standard procedure every 15 years. That review is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Glyphosate was introduced by Monsanto in 1974 and is the most popular herbicide in the world. It is currently used in more than 160 countries, including on most of the corn and soybean crops in the U.S. These crops are known as “Roundup Ready,” meaning they have been genetically modified to resist the effects of glyphosate.
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