Poison Oak and Roundup Lawsuit

roundup lawsuit

I suspect that this case (and this post) will be as controversial and contentious as the lawsuit it reports on.

A fellow from California had used Roundup to clear the weeds in his backyard, particularly poison oak, for decades. Then he came down with cancer: non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He and his wife took Monsanto to court, charging that their safety claims for Roundup are false.

And a unanimous jury agreed, awarding the couple $80 million. 

But Monsanto will certainly appeal as far as they can go, and few have deeper pockets than them and Bayer, their German parent company.

I am going to guess that in these deeply divided, angry times people will either be outraged AT Monsanto or FOR them. Many people will strongly come down in favor of using Roundup. Many will rail against it.

Of course, it is terribly difficult to connect any chemical exposure to a specific cancer. 

Here is some info from the US EPA website, with bold added by us:

  • Glyphosate products can be safely used by following label directions.
    • Glyphosate has low toxicity for humans.
      • Protective eye wear is recommended for the few products that may cause eye irritation.
      • Entry into agricultural fields is allowed 12-hours after application of these products.
    • Glyphosate is no more than slightly toxic to birds and is practically nontoxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates, and honeybees.
      • Certain products contain an ingredient that is toxic to some fish.
      • Follow the label directions to protect fish and aquatic environments.

Roundup is available in many forms in every hardware and ag store, and will be for the foreseeable future.

So it is up to you whether you want to use it or not.

We tend to suggest control by "mechanical" means: tearing it out. But that carries a big risk of exposure to the plant oil.

So as always, the answer is not simple, and as always, people will line up with lots of anger on both sides of this issue, which won't help reach a responsible policy.