Two American Roundup cancer victims and their attorneys are in Europe this week to warn officials about the cancer risk associated with glyphosate.
Teri McCall of Cambria, California, and John Barton of Bakersfield, California were invited to Brussels to discuss the dangers of Roundup the same week that European governments are scheduled to meet to discuss a new license for glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient. California is the first state in the United States to list glyphosate as a carcinogen.
Monsanto Roundup Users Ask EU to Investigate Glyphosate and Cancer Link Instead of Relicensing
Teri McCall’s husband, Jack, developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after decades of using Roundup on the couple’s farm. He passed away in 2015.
“I lost the love of my life and can’t help thinking that if he hadn’t used Roundup he would still be here,” Teri McCall told reporters this week. “Monsanto lied to him claiming it was safe, and we are still being lied to. Now Europe has the opportunity to stop one of the biggest scams of the century and protect its citizens. I hope they will make the right choice.”
John Barton, a third-generation farmer, used Roundup for decades before he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“Since 1975 I sprayed thousands of gallons of Roundup on our family farm, they always said it was safe,” said Barton. “Sometimes my boots, socks, and jeans were drenched from Roundup. I would have never done that had I known that Roundup causes cancer – now we need to warn other people…I want all citizens, not just Americans, to know the risks of using glyphosate.”
Teri McCall and John Barton’s stories are far from unique; hundreds of people from all across America claim to have developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup. As of September 2017, more than 1,300 people in the U.S. have filed lawsuits against Monsanto, accusing the agrochemical giant of burying the health risks associated with glyphosate and the Roundup formulated product.
The first lawsuits were filed after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – considered by many to be the gold standard in the field of cancer research – classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015 The IARC report on glyphosate also found that the cancers most associated with glyphosate exposure were non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other hematopoietic cancers.
EU Officials to Meet and Discuss Monsanto’s Alleged Influence in Glyphosate Studies
McCall and Barton are in Brussels ahead of two important EU government meetings concerning glyphosate. The first is a meeting among the 28 member countries of the EU Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) to discuss a new license for glyphosate.
The second is an October 11 hearing organized by EU environment and agriculture committees to discuss the possibility of an official inquiry into Monsanto’s manipulation of the science and the regulatory process for approving and renewing the license for glyphosate. The committees invited academics, regulators, and safety advocates to discuss allegations that Monsanto influenced glyphosate studies. The committees also invited Monsanto to attend the meeting but the company declined.
In a letter to the Conference of Presidents, Monsanto wrote that the company is reluctant to “participate in any forum of which the outcome is likely to further undermine, question or challenge the integrity and independence of the EU scientific assessment procedure and its agencies.”
In response, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) banned Monsanto lobbyists from entering the European Parliament. According to a self-declaration form in the EU transparency register, Monsanto spends between €300,000 and €400,000 each year on lobbying efforts in Brussels (home to the European Parliament).
Roughly two-thirds of Europeans support a ban for glyphosate and more than 2 million people have signed an Avaaz petition calling for the suspension of glyphosate until it is proven safe. With this mounting public pressure and disagreement among EU member states, the European Commission has not been able to form a majority consensus over the proposed 10-year licensing renewal for glyphosate. France, Austria and Italy have signaled that they will vote against renewing the license for glyphosate. A vote is scheduled to take place later this year before the license expires.
Roundup Cancer Attorneys Explain the Monsanto Papers
McCall and Barton are accompanied on the trip by their attorneys, Michael Baum and Brent Wisner of the law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman. Baum Hedlund co-published the largest and most recent batch of Monsanto Papers along with the leadership of the Roundup litigation.
The Monsanto Papers contain hundreds of pages of internal company documents that tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, the dangers of the “inert” ingredients in the Roundup formulated product, collusion with government agencies, and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate.
“This is a look behind the curtain,” Wisner says. “These show that Monsanto has deliberately been stopping studies that look bad for them, ghostwriting literature and engaging in a whole host of corporate malfeasance. They (Monsanto) have been telling everybody that these products are safe because regulators have said they are safe, but it turns out that Monsanto has been in bed with U.S. regulators while misleading European regulators.”