What is Roundup?
Roundup is a non-selective herbicide used to kill weeds that compete with agricultural crops. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, works by inhibiting a specific enzyme required for plant growth.
By 2001, Roundup weed killer was the most-used active ingredient in American agriculture, with an estimated 85-90 million pounds used each year. In 2007, that number reached 185 million pounds annually and today, Roundup remains the most widely used herbicide in the United States and worldwide.
Monsanto Roundup Class Action Lawsuit
On June 20, 2017, six individuals from Wisconsin, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, and Florida filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto alleging the company falsely promoted Roundup as interfering with an enzyme found only in plants, but not “in people or pets.”
Filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, the lawsuit names Monsanto Co. and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., which markets and distributes Roundup in several U.S. states. Baum Hedlund and six other law firms represent the plaintiffs in the Roundup class action.
According to the complaint, Monsanto’s marketing claim that Roundup is safe because it targets an enzyme that is not found in people or pets is “false, misleading, and deceptive, as the enzyme that glyphosate targets is found in people and pets—specifically, in beneficial gut bacteria.”
Glyphosate kills weeds by interfering with the “shikimate pathway,” a metabolic sequence that synthesizes vital amino acids. Glyphosate disrupts the shikimate pathway by interfering with 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP), an enzyme that governs aromatic amino acid formation.
Beneficial bacteria in the human gut (and the guts of other mammals) produces and utilizes EPSP synthase. Our immune systems depend on this beneficial gut bacteria.
Plaintiffs in the case are seeking compensation for themselves and class members equal to the amount they paid for Roundup products, which they would never have purchased had they been adequately informed that glyphosate targets an enzyme that exists in both humans and animals, contrary to Roundup’s marketing.
What is the Difference Between an Individual Roundup Lawsuit and the Roundup Class Action?
Individual lawsuits against Monsanto seek remedy for personal injuries (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) sustained as a result of exposure to Roundup. Farmers, farm workers, horticulturalists, landscapers, gardeners, government employees, and a host of other people have filed individual lawsuits against Monsanto based on allegations that Monsanto knew about the link between exposure to Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but failed to warn consumers.
Monsanto faces individual lawsuits in the following courts:
- Federal Litigation: MDL 2741, (Multidistrict Litigation), U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco.
- California State Litigation: Case No. RG17853420, State of California Superior Court, County of Alameda.
- Louis Circuit Court Litigation: Case No 1722-CC00796, Case No. 1722-CC00796 and Case No. 1722-CC00799, City of St. Louis Circuit Court for the 22nd Circuit, St. Louis, Missouri.
The Monsanto Roundup class action, on the other hand, involves consumers who say they would never have purchased Roundup products had they known that glyphosate targets an enzyme that exists in the human body and the bodies of certain mammals, contrary to Monsanto’s marketing.
Anyone who purchased certain Roundup products can participate in the Monsanto class action over the misbranding of Roundup. Claimants are not required to prove that they suffered personal injuries as a result of using the product, only that they purchased the product.
Is Baum Hedlund Representing Clients in the Monsanto Class Action?
Our firm is not currently accepting additional class representatives for the Monsanto Roundup class action. We are, however, continuing to accept and represent individuals or next of kin whose loved ones were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup.
Baum Hedlund are not only amazing attorneys, but more importantly they are activists. They are about changing the systems which got us into trouble in the first place. They understand their role in the process of making change. Attorneys have the fortunate ability to go into the company files during the investigative process. They see the companies’ behaviors and work hard at getting confidential documents declassified that have true public health benefit.
Kim Witczak — Read more from our clients