The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued the transfer order on October 3, centralizing all Roundup lawsuits into one federal court.
Judges said at least 10 law firms have filed 37 lawsuits in 21 separate district courts. Coordinating the lawsuits will streamline the process and make it easier for people to join the litigation.
In the future, lawyers will choose a few cases for “bellwether” trials and use the jury verdicts to negotiate settlements.
All of the lawsuits involve people who were diagnosed with cancer after years of exposure to Roundup. Monsanto is accused of failing to provide adequate warnings about the risk.
Lawyers say the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They also say the combination of glyphosate with the surfactant POEA makes Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own.
The Northern District of California was chosen because it is where two of the earliest and most advanced lawsuits are already pending.
The number of lawsuits has grown substantially since glyphosate was classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the cancer-research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Monsanto denies any link between Roundup and cancer. In the last 20 years, the company has made billions off “Roundup Ready” crops. They are genetically modified to survive the herbicide, meaning farmers can spray it over entire fields to kill weeds.
Today, Roundup is sprayed on nearly every acre of cotton, corn, soybean, canola, and sugarbeets grown in the United States. Its residues have been found in a wide variety of foods and cotton products like tampons and pads.
Source: HarrisMartin Publishing