New Rulings on Glyphosate Exposure

The first civil suit against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer AG, for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma caused by glyphosate exposure has gone to trial.

| Spring 2019

Even with proper precautions taken, glyphosate has serious health effects on users. Photo by Getty Images/Mihajlo Maricic.

Monsanto, owned by Bayer AG, made headlines recently — and not in a good way.

Monsanto’s Roundup contains the active ingredient glyphosate, which acts as a non-selective herbicide. Monsanto defends the safety of their product with a December 2017 memo in which the Environmental Protection Agency claims that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” However, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization rules that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” to humans.

To date, there are more than 5,000 open civil suits against Monsanto based on allegations of a strong link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The first of these suits went to trial in the summer of 2018.

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, and his doctors have said that it isn’t likely the 46-year-old father of three will live to see 2020. As a groundskeeper for a school district in the suburbs of San Francisco, he came into contact with glyphosate up to 30 times a year. While he was diligent about safety and wore protective gear, accidents and leaks happened.

After two years of using glyphosate-based products, symptoms appeared, and he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After his diagnosis, Johnson found studies that linked glyphosate exposure to cancer and decided to bring a lawsuit against Monsanto.



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