June 29, 2016 — A woman who used a backpack to spray the weed-killer Roundup is among dozens of people who have filed lawsuits accusing Monsanto of failing to warn about the risk of cancer.
CBS News spoke to Yolanda Mendoza, a mother who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma three years ago. She is in remission after undergoing five months of treatment and intense chemotherapy.
Last year, she filed a lawsuit (PDF) against the product she says made her sick — Roundup, the most popular weed-killer in the world. Mendoza says she used a backpack sprayer once a week on her one-acre property.
Monsanto, the largest agricultural technology corporation in the world, is facing more than 30 lawsuits from landscapers, farmers, migrant workers, and other people who say Roundup causes cancer.
Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared Roundup a “probable human carcinogen” based on studies linking it to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States, Sweden, and Canada.
Monsanto insists Roundup is safe because it targets an enzyme in plants that is not found in people. However, studies dating back to the 1980s prove it causes cancer in animals. Based on those studies, the EPA originally classified it as possibly carcinogenic in humans.
In 1991, the EPA changed its mind and said Roundup was not carcinogenic in humans. The EPA is currently in the process of re-evaluating Roundup. The FDA recently announced it would start testing food for Roundup residues.
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