Glyphosate, a synthetic compound, is an herbicide. It is most widely known under its trade name, Roundup, as branded by corporate giant Monsanto. The company released its Roundup weed killer in 1974. Since then, the herbicide has become the most popular product of its kind, with broad, cross-industry applications worldwide. Glyphosate is the ingredient in Roundup that causes cancer.
Understanding How Glyphosate Works
As a non-selective herbicide, glyphosate kills just about any plant, not just weeds. The chemical inhibits the passage of an enzyme that plants need to grow. Consequently, the plant dies.
Glyphosate Classified as a Probable Carcinogen
Researchers started paying a great deal of attention to Roundup and glyphosate as correlative evidence indicated a connection between exposure to the substance and an increased risk of cancer.
In March of 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.” The classification was based on the IARC’s in-depth review of data surrounding exposure to the chemical in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden, along with data gathered from research conducted on animals. The group also commented on evidence that glyphosate’s being genotoxic (able to alter genetic information) to human cells. Such an outcome could lead to cancer, according to the IARC.
In July of 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added glyphosate to its list of carcinogenic chemicals.
The Increased Problem With Glyphosate-Resistant Plants
A massive, still growing class of genetically modified organism (GMO) plants have been designed to withstand glyphosate. With these GMO crops being made glyphosate-resistant, commercial farmers are able to more generously apply Roundup to their crops to eliminate weeds and expedite operations.
The problem that these “Roundup Ready” crops present is that the aggressive application of glyphosate leaves a heavy residue of the chemical on harvested plants. These plants are then sold and consumed by people of all ages all around the world.
The Extent of Human Exposure to Glyphosate
It is easy to see how—given Roundup’s enormous popularity across industries, its worldwide penetration, and the growing fondness for GMO “Roundup Ready” crops among commercial farmers—glyphosate enjoys a close to the ubiquitous presence. The chemical can be found in food, dust, and water—all around the world.
According to a 2016 study published in Environmental Sciences Europe, the risk of human exposure to the carcinogen via water and food is likely in parallel with the increasing use of the herbicide.
A Roundup Cancer Lawyer Can Fight for Your Right to Compensation
Researchers have uncovered too much evidence connecting glyphosate to cancer for Monsanto to not have been aware of the inherent risks of using the popular weed killer. It was the corporate giant’s responsibility and duty to warn consumers of the cancer-causing nature of their product so users could make informed decisions about whether—and how—to use the herbicide.
For this reason, if you have been diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to Roundup, you have the right to seek compensation from the company that made the product that caused it.
The Roundup lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine know that glyphosate is the ingredient in Roundup that causes cancer. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case review and consultation.