Cancer patients blame weed killer Roundup

Cancer patients blame weed killer Roundup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to national reports, thousands of people are suing the company that makes the popular weed killer, Roundup. They claim a chemical in it, Glyphosate, causes cancer.

Henry McWaters is a farmer between Charlotte and Raleigh.

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He says the farmers who lease his land have used Roundup for years.  "They put it in the tractor and go along and spray the ground," he said.  Then, last year, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.  "[The doctor] told me I had stage 4 cancer."

Gary Jackson is a lawyer. His firm, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, is representing McWaters and several other people suing the company that makes Roundup, Monsanto.

"People that were close to exposure and were actually exposed to Roundup have much higher incidents of acquiring Non-Hodgkins lymphoma," he said.

Closer to home, Charlotte resident Mario Putzrath is suing Monsanto too. He says he developed Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma about a year ago. His lawyer is Graham Newman with Chappell Smith & Arden.  His other lawyer is Tyler Bathrick with the Stewart Law Offices.

"They're facing a life-threatening disease. And some people will die. There's no doubt about that," he said.

People in California sued Monsanto and won. Last year, a groundskeeper won $289 million. A judge knocked it down to $78 million a few months later.  In March, a jury awarded a 70-year-old man $80 million.  Last month, a jury awarded a couple more than $2 billion.

Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, are appealing all three decisions.

Bayer emailed Action 9:

“We have great sympathy for any individual with cancer, but the extensive body of science on glyphosate-based herbicides over four decades supports the conclusion that Roundup does not cause NHL.

“The research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 rigorous studies submitted to EPA, European and other regulators in connection with the registration process, confirms that these products are safe when used as directed. Notably, the largest and most recent epidemiologic study – the 2018 independent National Cancer Institute-supported long-term study that followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators for more than 20 years and was published after the IARC monograph – found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer. Additionally, EPA’s April 30, 2019, interim registration review decision reaffirmed that ‘glyphosate is not a carcinogen’ and noted that the EPA’s independent cancer assessment is ‘more robust’ and ‘more transparent’ than IARC’s review.

“At the end of the day, whether you're in the court of law, regulatory agencies or court of public opinion, it's the science that should matter here. And the extensive body of science over 40 years, including several recent human epidemiology studies, shows that glyphosate-based herbicides are not associated with NHL. Customers who know these products best continue to rely on them. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”