An Australian farmer has filed a Monsanto Round Lawsuit against Bayer AG, alleging the popular weed killer was responsible for his lymphoma.
Ross Wild, 67, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year. According to a complaint filed in Victoria Supreme Court, the New South Wales resident had been using Roundup on his farm since 1976. He claims long-term exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicide led to the diagnosis.
The case is the first Bayer Roundup lawsuit filed by a farmer in Australia, and comes just months after a similar complaint was filed on behalf of a landscaper who developed lymphoma following 20 years of glyphosate exposure.
Both men are represented by the same lawyer, who has apparently been approached by more than 100 former Roundup users suffering from similar cancers.
“I’m pretty confident that more people will come forward,” the attorney told the Financial Times. “These are very sick people that deserve to be compensated — why should Australians be treated any differently to Americans?”
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, is currently facing more than 18,400 Roundup cancer lawsuits in courts throughout the United States. Three cases have gone to trial since August 2018, and Bayer has yet to win a single verdict.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer Roundup, was declared a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2015.
Monsanto vehemently denied any association with cancer, and waged an aggressive campaign to discredit the WHO’s conclusions. While the Missouri-based agribusiness convinced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulators to declare glyphosate safe, critics charge that the company ghost-wrote and manipulated much of the research used in those reviews.
Just last April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry said it couldn’t rule out a glyphosate-cancer link and called for further research into the matter.
Like Monsanto, Bayer continues to insist glyphosate and Roundup aren’t carcinogenic. Nevertheless, the company is participating in court-ordered mediation led by Kenneth Feinberg, the prominent attorney behind the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and other high-profile legal settlements. Earlier this year, Bayer’s CEO said the company would consider a financially reasonable Roundup settlement in order to bring the litigation to an end.
Last week, a Missouri judge postponed the year’s last Bayer Round trials to allow the parties to focus on the ongoing settlement talks.