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Glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup, was classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “Possible Human Carcinogen” in 1985. Although it later changed that classification, research has continued to link the herbicide to cancer, and the World Health Organization again classified glyphosate as a “Probable Carcinogen to Humans” in 2015. The […]

How Long Has the Link Between Monsanto Roundup and Cancer Been Known? The United States Environmental Protection Agency classified glyphosate as a Possible Human Carcinogen in 1985.

Glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup, was classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “Possible Human Carcinogen” in 1985. Although it later changed that classification, research has continued to link the herbicide to cancer, and the World Health Organization again classified glyphosate as a “Probable Carcinogen to Humans” in 2015. The link between Monsanto Roundup and cancer has been known for quite a while.

The Yo-Yo Effect

A massive global manufacturing company that developed and patented glyphosate in the 1970s, ultimately branding the herbicide as its flagship Roundup product, many claim Monsanto would likely have been aware of—or should have been aware of—the relationship between the weed killer and cancer.

Timeline in the Battle Over Carcinogenicity

The idea that Roundup could cause cancer can be traced back to the early research that confirmed glyphosate’s connection to cancer.

In 1985, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an initial peer review of glyphosate. As a result of the findings of this evaluation, which was conducted in accordance with the Proposed Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, the EPA classified glyphosate as a “Possible Human Carcinogen.” The classification was based on the appearance of renal tumors in male mice after their exposure to the herbicide.

Abruptly, in 1986, the EPA decided to change glyphosate’s classification to not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity and called for additional studies on the matter.

In 2015, after reviewing evidence of cancer in both humans and animals from glyphosate (real-world exposures and controlled lab studies, respectively), the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Its tests of various herbicides showed that glyphosate was genotoxic (meaning it alters human DNA) and created oxidative stress. Both of these characteristics are known to lead to cancer in humans.

In 2018, countries like Sweden and France launched moves to ban the herbicide based on the IARC classification.

In 2019, the University of Washington revealed its findings that agricultural workers exposed to glyphosate suffer a 41 percent increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) compared with people who have not been exposed to the chemical.

The Monsanto Papers Reveal Corporate Knowledge of Cancer Risk

The extent to which Monsanto was aware can be inferred from a collection of internal documents (called the “Monsanto Papers”), which were presented at the first trial against the company for its defective product, negligence, and failure to warn consumers of the dangers of using Roundup.

Internal Emails Confirm Monsanto’s Early Awareness

Internal conversations reportedly captured in the Monsanto Papers arguably underscore that Monsanto was aware of the risks presented by Roundup—and they were talking about it early in the game. As reported by the New York Times, consider the dates and content of the following internal, Monsanto emails:

  • 2001: A Monsanto scientist wrote, “If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react—with serious concern.”
  • 2002: A Monsanto executive said, “What I’ve been hearing from you is that this continues to be the case with these studies—Glyphosate is O.K. but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”
  • 2003: Another Monsanto executive wrote to his peers, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen…we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”

Other Communications Indicating Monsanto’s Negligence

The breadth of documents in the Monsanto Papers reportedly range in type from emails to contracts that show that not only did Monsanto know about the cancer risks of using Roundup, but also allegedly:

  • Engineered a master public relations campaign to counter IARC’s findings
  • Ghostwrote papers that were supposedly written by impartial scientists, which were subsequently published in the scientific peer-review-based journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology
  • Used its influence to sway regulators on the matter of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity

EPA Corruption: Among the emails, there appeared a communication with an EPA senior official who effectively quashed a review of glyphosate that the United States Department of Health and Human Services was to conduct. There was also documentation of the fact that not everyone in the EPA agreed about its safety assessment of glyphosate. 

A Roundup/NHL Lawyer Can Help You Fight for Compensation

If you have developed NHL after exposure to Roundup, you can join the thousands of others who have been similarly hurt by this corporation’s alleged negligence and are holding Monsanto accountable in civil court. The link between Monsanto Roundup and cancer has been known for years, and the company has withheld this information from the public—and from you. The legal team at Newsome Melton will fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve.

Call us today at (888) 808-5977 for a free case review and consultation.

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