Patients: Roundup gave us cancer as EPA official helped the company
For 12 years, Sheppard had no idea what might have caused her non-Hodgkin's lymphoma -- until a group of cancer researchers reported (PDF) that glyphosate, the key ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup, is "probably carcinogenic to humans" (PDF).
That's the same herbicide Sheppard said she sprayed on her coffee farm in Hawaii for five years.
"I was incensed," said Sheppard, 67. "We had no idea."
Sheppard is one of more than 800 cancer patients suing Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, claiming the company failed to warn consumers about the risk of cancer associated with Roundup products.
Monsanto says there's no proof that glyphosate is carcinogenic. In fact, it citesa report by the Environmental Protection Agency'sCancer Assessment Review Committee that saidglyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans" (PDF).
But the former chairman of that committee offered to stop an independent review on whether glyphosate could cause cancer, according to a plaintffs' motion to compel his deposition. And that has left Sheppard even more incensed.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancercaused a stir in March 2015 when it said glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans" (PDF), meaning it can lead to cancer.
"For the herbicide glyphosate, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma," the report states.
"The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals."
That report spurred hundreds of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients to sue Monsanto.
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