The litigation surrounding Monsanto Roundup weed killer is expanding, following a new filing in Missouri that alleges glyphosate exposure can harm healthy gut bacteria in humans.
Bayer AG already faces thousands of lawsuits alleging glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, caused cancer. This latest case, however, could portend a new avenue of litigation related to glyphosate’s purported health effects.
According to Bloomberg News, this latest Monsanto Roundup lawsuit seeks class action status and unspecified monetary damages on behalf of home gardners who purchased the enormously popular herbicide.
Th lawsuit disputes statements on the labels for Roundup’s Weed & Grass Killer and certain other home gardening products that that promise the weed killer only targets an enzyme not found “in people or pets.”
Rather, the complaint alleges that glyphosate also attacks an enzyme found in the beneficial intestinal bacteria of humans and some animals.
All of the Monsanto Roundup products named in the lawsuit are distributed by Scotts Miracle-Grow, which is also named as a defendant.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year, is already dealing with more than 8,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits pending in courts throughout the United States.
Last August, a San Francisco Superior Court jury hearing evidence in the nation’s first Monsanto Roundup lawsuit awarded $289 million to a former school grounds keeper with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the judge on the case ultimately reduced the award to $78 million.
A second Roundup cancer lawsuit is set to begin on February 25th in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
Monsanto’s Roundup isthe most popular weed killer in the world.
However, in March 2015, an independent review conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggested glyphosate exposure could be associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its various subtypes.
Most recently, a study conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, suggested glyphosate exposure increased the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by as much as 41%.
Despite these findings, Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer or other health issues and has worked aggressively to discredit the IARC review.
For their part, Roundup lawsuit plaintiffs claim that Monsanto manipulated scientific research and ghostwrote studies that contradicted cancer findings.
Recently, Critical Reviews in Toxicology acknowledged that Monsanto had played a major role in 5 glyphosate studies. The company’s involvement wasn’t disclosed when the papers were initially submitted or published, prompting the journal to take the unusual step of issuing an “Expression of Concern” last October.