Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Two US agricultural workers have sued Monsanto, claiming that Roundup, the chemical company’s most popular herbicide, gave them cancer.
Monsanto has been getting a lot of bad press lately, particularly since the World Health Organization said glyphosphate, the main ingredient in Roundup, probably causes cancer. In light of this, Enrique Rubio and Judy Fitzgerald, who both got cancer after years of working around the weedkiller, are suing Monsanto for intentionally misleading the public about the dangers of Roundup.
One suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, names as plaintiff 58-year-old Enrique Rubio, a former farm worker in California, Texas and Oregon who over several years labored in fields of cucumbers, onions and other vegetable crops.
His duties included spraying fields with Roundup and other pesticides before Rubio was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1995, the lawsuit states.
It’s unclear at this point how this Monsanto lawsuit will go, and what will happen to the world’s most widely used herbicide. Between the WHO’s warnings, these lawsuits, and California’s possible new labeling, Roundup’s days may be numbered.
And whether or not the laws change, more and more people may choose to buy organic produce in light of these warnings about the dangers of Roundup. And in the long run, that could be good for small scale, local farmers.
What do you think? Are these concerns about the safety of Roundup legitimate or unscientific?
Let us know what you think in the comments!