Christine Sheppard wants Monsanto, the manufacturer of the popular herbicide Roundup, to do two things. According to CNN, the sufferer of stage IV large-cell lymphoma desires for the company to stop selling its potentially carcinogenic product and issue her an apology. Sheppard, along with more than 800 other cancer patients, are suing Monsanto claiming the chemical maker failed to warn consumers about the risk of cancer linked to Roundup products.
For 12 years, Sheppard was clueless about what may have caused her form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization referred to as IARC, reported that glyphosate, a main ingredient in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Sheppard was immediately incensed. She’d sprayed Roundup at her coffee farm in Hawaii for five years.
Monsanto insists no proof exists linking glyphosate to cancer. The company bases its claims on a report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency’s, EPA’s, Cancer Assessment Review Committee. This report completely contradicted the IARC’s findings. Interestingly, the previous chairman of this committee proposed to end an independent review on whether glyphosate could cause cancer. This information, which further infuriated Sheppard, was included in a plaintiff’s motion to compel the former chairman’s deposition.
The IARC report was based on human evidence from primarily agricultural studies of exposures in the United States, Sweden, and Canada published since 2001. Convincing evidence also points to glyphosate causing cancer in laboratory animals.
Timothy Litzenburg’s law practice represents hundreds of cancer patients suing Monsanto. When confronted by CNN, he insisted most of his clients were unaware of the potential link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Roundup until the IARC report was issued. Due to the widespread use of the herbicide on farms and in backyards, Litzenburg won’t be surprised if his client list expands from hundreds to thousands in the future.
Other companies also sell products consisting of glyphosate. So, why aren’t they being sued like Monsanto? Litzenburg explained that Monsanto invented, or discovered, glyphosate and retained the patent for several years. Monsanto is the EPA registrant for glyphosate. Litzenburg argued that Roundup consists of animal fat and other ingredients believed to bolster the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
Sheppard revealed she’s attempting to manage her illness as best she can. She was forced to move her family from Hawaii to California due to cancer treatment. She relented she’s emptied her 401(k) to pay for medical bills.
On November 9, 2017, an extensive, long-standing study on glyphosate use by American agricultural workers was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute as part of a project referred to as the Agricultural Health Study, AHS. According to Reuters, the study determined no association between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies exist.
The study did find slight evidence of an elevated risk of acute myeloid leukemia, AML, among the highest exposed group of participants. However, researchers decided the link wasn’t statistically significant.
The latest findings might impact pending litigation proceedings against Monsanto. According to Reuters, encouraged by the published study, Monsanto and American farm groups sued California on November 15, 2017 to keep the state from requiring cancer screening warnings on products containing glyphosate. In July of 2017, California added glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals. At this time, products consisting of glyphosate must include warnings by July of 2018.
The debate on the safety of Roundup will likely rage on for many months, and years, to come. If you, like many others, are unsure about whether Roundup is a safe, practical, and green herbicide or a toxic, hazardous chemical, consider finding alternative substitutes. A few options include:
- Corn gluten
- Essential oils
Corn gluten is a by-product resulting from the production of corn starch. It’s available in a dry powder. According to the GreenCityBlueLake Institute, corn gluten is most effective against weeds such as dandelions when it’s applied to your lawn at least twice each year. While it thwarts the growth of new plants, corn gluten doesn’t kill mature ones. Therefore, it’s completely safe to apply to gardens. In fact, it will fertilize established plants by adding nitrogen to the soil. It’s also safe for both humans and pets.
When applied to plants, vinegar causes chemical burns. These burns eat away at the foliage until no leaves remain. A downside to vinegar is that it only attacks the leaves. Because the roots aren’t affected, the weeds might spring back up in a couple of weeks. Like vinegar, essential oils including peppermint, clove, pine, and citronella will burn foliage, but won’t affect the roots.
~ Health Scams Exposed