Anthony “Jack” McCall was a 69 year-old farmer from Cambria, California who died last year after a painful battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. What made his case perplexing was that he never smoked, kept in shape, and had no history of cancer in his family.

McCall did not use pesticides on his farm in central California — all except the herbicide Roundup, which Monsanto marketed as safe. He routinely sprayed it around the farm and even recommended it to friends, touting its effectiveness and low toxicity.

In September 2015, he was admitted to the hospital with enlarged lymph nodes in his neck. He was diagnosed with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. On December 24, McCall had a stroke during chemotherapy and passed away two days later.

The McCall family did not learn about studies linking Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma until after his death. It made sense — the family dog also died of lymphoma. The family immediately stopped using Roundup on their farm and filed suit.

The lawsuit, McCall v. Monsanto, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Case No. 2:16:cv-01609) on March 9.

It is one of about a dozen lawsuits filed in the last six months. Monsanto is accused of selling an “unreasonably dangerous” product, failing to warn about the risk of cancer, and minimizing known risks by claiming that Roundup is no more dangerous than table salt.

The reality is that Monsanto has spent decades aggressively fighting cancer warnings to protect their reputation and $5 billion in yearly sales.

In 1985, the EPA originally classified it as possibly carcinogenic. Just six years later, under pressure from Monsanto, the agency declared it non-carcinogenic.

Their position has become harder to defend in recent years. Three major studies in the United States, Canada, and Sweden found higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in agricultural workers who were exposed to Roundup.

Those studies led to Roundup being classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The McCall lawsuit is particularly interesting in California, where state environmental officials tried to classify Roundup as “known to cause cancer” after the IARC warning. Under state law, Monsanto would then have to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings about cancer to consumers. Monsanto immediately filed a lawsuit in California to keep Roundup off the list.

That lawsuit is pending, but the company may ultimately have to defend itself before a judge and jury. Lawsuits have been filed in California, Florida, Hawaii, and other states by farmers or workers who were exposed to Roundup on the job.

The number of lawsuits is also expected to continue growing for two big reasons. First of all, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is very common. The American Cancer Society estimates about 72,000 new diagnoses this year.

The other big problem for Monsanto is that there could be a lot of people with legal claims. The massive success of Roundup means that millions of agricultural workers have been exposed in the last two decades.

In the 1990s, the popularity of Roundup skyrocketed with the use of “Roundup Ready” crops. Monsanto sold seeds that were genetically engineered to resist the herbicide, meaning farmers could spray entire fields with Roundup. Today, it is sprayed on nearly every acre of corn, soybeans, and cotton grown in the United States.

Source: Huffington Post

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2 Comments

  1. If anyone thinks they are safe because they don’t work on a farm, you are wrong. You are eating these pesticides every time you consume “conventionally grown” food and almost anything processed.

    Only reason EPA OK’d Round-up is because Monsanto has filled key positions in the EPA (and FDA too!) with their employes (lawyers, “former” executives etc). We now have intrenched corruption of government agencies that were originally set up to protect people. I no longer believe in any ‘findings’ from the FDA or EPA. Corporations have corrupted the American system of a “government for the people” by purchasing corrupt politicians. Our government no longer serves the people’s best interest, instead it is now a hegemony of greedy corporations who don’t care who they poison as long as they make a profit doing it.

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  2. Excerpts from the Complaint: (as posted by Jeff Kirkpatrick)
    Monsanto Falsely Advertised Roundup as Being Safe for Decades
    In 1996, the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) filed a lawsuit against Monsanto based on its false and misleading advertising of Roundup products. Specifically, the lawsuit challenged Monsanto’s general representations that its spray-on glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, were “safer than table salt” and “practically non-toxic” to mammals, birds, and fish.
    Monsanto did not alter its advertising in the same manner in any state other than New York, and on information and belief still has not done so today.
    In 2009, France’s highest court ruled that Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of Roundup. The French court affirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide Roundup as “biodegradable” and that it “left the soil clean.”
    When Mr. McCall returned from the war, he started a farm in Cambria, California in 1975.
    Mr. McCall primarily worked the farmland himself, whereas Mrs. McCall focused on farm administration and management. They mainly grew fruit crops— apricots, peaches, plums, and apples—and also some avocados and vegetables. While working the farm, Mr. McCall would regularly apply Monsanto’s Roundup as an herbicide. As a general matter, Mr. McCall refrained from using other herbicides and pesticides out of a concern they might be hazardous to his own and his family’s health. Mr. McCall used Roundup in areas of the farm that could not be reached by tractor.
    In 2013, the McCall’s dog, Duke, who spent much of his days playing in those areas exposed to Roundup, passed away after developing lymphoma. He was only six years old. At the time, the McCalls did not suspect that the cancer was caused by Roundup exposure….
    When Defendant made the misrepresentations and/or omissions as alleged in this pleading, it did so with the intent of defrauding and deceiving the public in general and the agricultural community and with the intent of inducing the public and agricultural community to purchase and use Roundup.
    Defendant made these misrepresentations and/or material omissions with malicious, fraudulent and/or oppressive intent toward Decedent and the public generally. Defendant’s conduct was willful, wanton, and/or reckless. Defendant deliberately recommended, manufactured, produced, marketed, sold, distributed, merchandized, packaged, promoted and advertised the dangerous and defective herbicide Roundup. This constitutes an utter, wanton, and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of a large segment of the public, and by reason thereof, Defendant, is liable for reckless, willful, and wanton acts and omissions which evidence a total and conscious disregard for the safety of Decedent and others which proximately caused the injuries as set forth herein.
    Read more: Why Glyphosate should be Banned – August 4, 2016
    http://bit.ly/2auYVM2

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