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Arizona Man Blames Roundup for His Leukemia Diagnosis

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On September 15, 2017, an Arizona couple filed a new Roundup cancer-lawsuit against the manufacturer of the herbicide, Monsanto. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, but as all federally-filed cases have been consolidated in California, it is expected that this case will soon be transferred there for pre-trial proceedings.

The plaintiffs claim that the husband, after being exposed to Roundup, suffered serious injuries. They seek in excess of $75,000 in both compensatory and punitive damages.

Plaintiff Diagnosed with Leukemia—Blames Roundup

According to the complaint, the husband used Roundup from around 2012 to 2015, both on his own property and for his employment as a maintenance man. He asserts that he was unaware that it could cause serious health problems during the time he used the product.

In September 2015, the plaintiff was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells called “lymphocytes” in the bone marrow. This type of cancer can also spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, central nervous system, and liver.

Debate Ongoing About Glyphosate’s Link to Cancer

Monsanto has disputed the IARC’s findings since they came out. The company has also been aggressively battling the state of California over Roundup’s potential health effects. Based on the IARC’s classification for glyphosate, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a notice of their intent to include glyphosate on the state’s list of known carcinogens in September 2015 pursuant to Proposition 65.

Monsanto filed a lawsuit against the OEHHA in an effort to stop glyphosate’s addition to the list of known carcinogens. On July 7, 2017, however, the OEHHA added the ingredient to their list of cancer-causing chemicals. Monsanto must now add new warnings to Roundup’s label for products sold in California.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), however, concluded in 2015 that glyphosate was unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans, contradicting the IARC’s conclusion. With glyphosate up for renewal in the European Union, that conclusion is being widely debated. France has already declared that it will vote against renewal, which could block the use of the pesticide in the E.U.

Government scientists from around the world have also disputed the EFSA’s findings.  In a letter sent in late 2015 to the EU health commissioner, they urged him to disregard the “flawed” EFSA report, stating it was not supported by the evidence.

Scientists Express Concerns Over Widespread Use of Glyphosate

On February 17, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it would start testing certain foods for glyphosate residues, particularly soy, corn, milk, and eggs. Meanwhile, several studies have found connections between the long-term use of Roundup and certain types of cancer.

In 2014, for example, a study review of nearly three decades of research on the relationship between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and occupational exposure to pesticide active ingredients showed that pesticides like glyphosate were associated with a higher incidence of NHL.

In February 2016, the scientific journal Environmental Health published a statement noting their concerns over the widespread use of glyphosate-based herbicides. According to the statement, these are the most widely used herbicides in the world.  And human exposures rises along with the increasing use of glyphosate-based herbicides.  Strikingly, however, the estimates for what constitutes an acceptable daily intake of glyphosate are based on outdated science in the U.S. and the E.U.

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