Analyzing the Ongoing Roundup Lawsuits: Allegations and Defenses

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Roundup Herbicide Trials: A New Chapter in Cancer Allegations

In recent trials, plaintiffs have introduced new allegations against Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, claiming that multiple ingredients in the product are tied to cancer, not just the active ingredient glyphosate. This shift in focus is significant, as previous trials predominantly centered on glyphosate.

Key Points: 

  • New allegations focus on multiple carcinogenic ingredients in Roundup, not just glyphosate. 
  • Renowned law firms represent both plaintiffs and defendants in the ongoing trials. 
  • Plaintiffs claim that Monsanto was aware of the product’s toxicity but didn’t conduct adequate research. 
  • Monsanto’s defense includes pointing out that non-Hodgkin lymphoma can result from factors other than environmental or genetic causes. 
  • The EPA’s stance on glyphosate’s potential carcinogenic effects is a contested point between the plaintiffs and defendants. 

The Roundup trials this month in St. Louis, San Diego, and Philadelphia feature prominent law firms on both sides. The plaintiffs’ firms include Clark, Love & Hutson; Kiesel Law; Frazer PLC; OnderLaw; Kline & Specter; and Arnold & Itkin. In contrast, Monsanto is defended by Wilkinson Stekloff; Skadden; Arnold & Porter; Evans Fears; Goldman Ismail; and Nelson Mullins. 

In an opening statement in a San Diego trial, Scott Love of Clark, Love & Hutson stated, “Glyphosate alone causes cancer, but it’s the combination that’s even more toxic, and Monsanto never studied the combination, even to this day, and they knew it was more toxic.” This is a pivotal claim that could significantly impact the trial’s outcome. 

In a separate case, plaintiffs’ lawyer Roe Frazer alleged that Roundup contains multiple carcinogens, including arsenic, during an opening statement in a St. Louis trial. He further stated, “You’re going to hear stuff that no other jury has heard before. You’re going to hear what’s really in the bottle of Roundup.” 

The defendants, on the other hand, maintain that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer. Monsanto’s attorney, Pamela Yates, disputed the claim that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had withdrawn its findings that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer. She emphasized that the EPA reapproved the label for Roundup as recently as April 5, 2023. This will be one of the most watched mass torts of the year, due to the prolific use of the product and the large number of plaintiffs.  

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