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Roundup: the weed killer that kills people, too

Earlier this year, the Mercury News reported that 40 California residents are suing Monsanto, the company that manufactures Roundup, the popular weed and grass killer. The plaintiffs allege that their use of Roundup caused them to develop Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The lawsuit against Monsanto and its California distributor Wilbur Ellis Company, LLC, seeks both compensatory and punitive damages for personal injuries and wrongful deaths. It is one of over 700 such suits against Monsanto in state and federal courts throughout America. The plaintiffs allege that Monsanto produced and promoted false data about the dangers of glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient. They also allege that Monsanto attacked legitimate research showing the danger of glyphosate.

Startling documents released

These claims are well founded based on court documents recently released by a San Francisco federal judge. These documents show that Monsanto employees ghostwrote studies later attributed to academicians finding that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The documents also show that a former senior employee at the Environmental Protection Agency helped Monsanto suppress negative reviews of glyphosate.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organization, announced in 2015 that glyphosate-based herbicides are probable carcinogens. Nevertheless, Monsanto continues its aggressive sales campaign for Roundup and its other glyphosate products. Today these products are approved for use on more than 100 crops and are registered in 130 countries.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

The Lymphoma Research Foundation states that lymphoma is a cancer which attacks the body’s white blood cells that help protect a person from infection and disease. A lymphoma not involving Reed-Sternberg cells is classified as NHL. There are over 61 kinds of NHL, and people may develop it in the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen or many other parts of the body.

Common symptoms of NHL include the following:

  • Lymph node swelling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Fever and sweating
  • Chills
  • Itching

Most NHL patients undergo aggressive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, or a combination thereof. Often they also must have bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

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