California, also known as the Golden State, is also known as the land of golden opportunities. But, behind the glamour of glittering Hollywood, booming tech industry, and natural wonders, are the farmers, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, who own more than 80,000 farms throughout the state. "California's agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities. Over a third of the country's vegetables and two-thirds of the country's fruits and nuts are grown in California."
In addition to California, farming is a country-wide industry and in 2012, there were "2,100,000 farms in the United States... American agricultural products are being exported around the world and in the 2010 exportation was worth $115 billion. Leading farm commodities in the US in terms of cash receipts in 2013 were: cattle products, corn, oil crops, dairy products, broilers, and fruits." That's a lot of farming!
With the United States and world depending our food production, farmers are always looking for better ways to get a higher yield and to protect their crops from weeds which can take over the crop. For generations, Monsanto's Roundup has been the weed-killer of choice by farmers, farm workers, landscapers, and gardeners. In fact, seeds have been genetically modified to survive Roundup's withering effects. Reuter's reporter, Carey Gillam, summed it up by stating "glyphosate has been embraced for its ability to make farming easier by wiping out weeds in corn, soybean and cotton fields, and for keeping gardens and golf courses pristine."
WHAT IS ROUNDUP?
In 1976, Roundup weed killer was first commercialized in the United States. It's an all-purpose herbicide and is used by farmers, farm workers, landscapers, and gardeners alike. It is applied to plants with a hand-held sprayer often attached to a backpack or a large drum and is generally used year-round. Roundup's active ingredient is glyphosate. Makers of herbicides are required to divulge the chemical structures of their "active" ingredients and can conceal the inert ingredients as a confidential and proprietary trade secret. However, it is believed the cocktail of both active and inert ingredients make Roundup more harmful than if they were not together. Just because an ingredient is inert it doesn't mean it's not harmful. In December 2008 , a French study concluded, "Roundup formulations are not inert. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected..."
Since the 1970s, Monsanto has continued to promote its herbicide as a safe product for both people and pets, denying any claim that Roundup is harmful to human health. Monsanto says,
"The way Roundup® products work is key to their remarkable efficacy and popularity. All Roundup® brand products contain the active ingredient Glyphosate, which targets an enzyme found only in plants, not in people or pets" In fact, Monsanto's Roundup has been the "go-to" weed killer for generations. There is a range of Roundup products on the market and each is designed for specific uses ranging from domestic to commercial use. It's readily available and marketed for decades as a safe product to use.
But just last year, it was deemed a "probably human carcinogen" which means it causes cancer in animals and probably people, too. But are we really at risk?
ARE WE AT RISK?
Let's face it. We are all exposed to hazardous chemicals throughout our daily lives. The danger becomes imminent when we are over-exposed to a substance which can eventually lead to cancer or other serious illnesses. For farmers, farm workers, landscapers or anyone else who has been using Roundup consistently, they could be at risk for developing cancer. Chemicals have different toxicity and studies have shown that Roundup, even, in small doses, is toxic to human health.
In 2012, the journal, Archives of Toxicology revealed that Roundup is "toxic to human DNA in dilutions 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications. This finding could not be anticipated from the known toxicological effects of glyphosate alone. The likely explanation is that the surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine within Roundup dramatically enhances the absorption of glyphosate into exposed human cells and tissue."
So for those of us who have used Roundup, our risk of developing cancer or another serious disease has increased.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Scientific studies have shown a causal link between Roundup and an increased risk of various forms of cancer in people who work with the herbicide. People exposed to the glysophate cocktails in Roundup product line seem to be at increased risk of developing serious illnesses including Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Other types of cancer that are potentially caused by exposure and use of Roundup products are:
- Bone Cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
Knowing about your exposure and the risks involved empowers you to make some decisions about what to do next. Regular visits to your doctor can be preventative medicine. However, if you have developed cancer or another serious illness, you should seek legal counsel from experience attorneys used to suing large companies like Monsanto to review your case. Each individual is different based on exposure and medical history. We have a proven record against companies like Monsanto and if you have used Roundup, contact Vititoe Law Group today for a free evaluation of your case.