According to a Drugwatch news report from September 2023, this trial is anticipated to last for approximately 9 weeks. Expert witnesses will detail the hazards they faced while using Roundup. This herbicide, originally manufactured by Monsanto and acquired by Bayer in 2018, was made using glyphosate.
The majority of the plaintiffs with legal complaints were employed in the agricultural sector and were exposed to the herbicides while working in fields. However, some victims used the product for residential purposes, in their home lawns or gardens, and have suffered greatly.
One such victim profoundly affected by the herbicide is Kelvin McNickle, who holds the chemical company accountable for his condition. In this article, we will delve into his story, explore other relevant details about Roundup cases in Australia, and discuss how victims can take action.
Kevin McNickle’s Legal Complaint Against RoundUp
In September 2023, The Guardian recounted the tragic story of Kelvin McNickle's suffering due to his use of Roundup. He had been assisting his family with their vegetation since his mid-teens, which exposed him to the herbicide. After continuous exposure to glyphosate in the herbicide for 20 years, at the age of 35, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of lymphatic system cancer.
Today, he serves as the lead plaintiff in a class-action Roundup lawsuit against Monsanto. The first half of this case, which commenced on September 4th, 2023, will continue for several weeks in Melbourne's federal court, presided over by Justice Michael Lee. The primary goal is to establish that glyphosate is carcinogenic.
Once this question is conclusively answered, there will still be further steps to take before obtaining compensation. If the first part of the trial is successful, the court will consider whether the chemical company displayed negligence regarding the risks associated with glyphosate-based formulations.
Contesting Views About Roundup Being Carcinogenic
Glyphosate is one of the most popular herbicides worldwide. It kills weeds by disrupting the plant pathway responsible for producing specific amino acids. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has cited strong evidence suggesting that glyphosate is genotoxic, potentially causing damage to genetic material within cells, which can lead to mutations and ultimately result in cancer.
However, this claim has been challenged by agencies such as Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), and the European Chemicals Agency. According to these agencies, glyphosate does not present a significant carcinogenic risk to humans.
In 2020, a review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted the possibility that glyphosate may not be a human carcinogen. However, in June 2022, an appellate court asked the EPA to conduct a re-evaluation of this chemical. This request stemmed from the revelation that the officials overseeing the review did not consider studies where the EPA itself had indicated a potential link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The Scientists’ Verdict on Roundup
The Agricultural Health Study has been tracking several pesticide applicators in the United States for 20 years. They have not found any link between tumors and glyphosate or any other lymphoid malignancies, including NHL and its subtypes.
However, in 2019, a meta-analysis that included data from the Agricultural Health Study and five additional studies indicated a strong association between herbicides containing glyphosate and the risk of NHL.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) maintains that glyphosate use can lead to DNA damage and oxidative stress in human cells, which are significant factors contributing to cancer. In the context of legal cases against Roundup in Australia, there is still much work to be done.
In the coming days, experts will research the carcinogenicity of the chemical through animal experiments. While the outcomes may differ from those in humans, they will provide valuable insights to conclude the link between glyphosate and cancer. The closing submissions for the initial part of the trial are scheduled for October 31st.
How Can Victims Take Action?
Amidst all of this, Roundup-affected victims mustn't remain silent about their suffering. They should first seek medical care to determine if their ailment is a result of Roundup exposure. Once that is confirmed, it is essential to seek legal assistance by contacting a lawyer.
According to TorHoerman Law, a lawyer will assist in organizing all the evidence necessary to build a strong case. This evidence may include employment records, receipts, purchase bills, and medical records. The lawyer will also provide information about the potential compensation, which can range from $5,000 to $250,000 for NHL and other cancers.
To date, several people have been affected by their use of Roundup as a weed killer for their fields, gardens, and lawns. Often, individuals experience symptoms years after being exposed to the herbicide.
While there is an ongoing debate about whether glyphosate is carcinogenic or not, victims need to speak out about their experiences. The most effective way to do this is by filing a legal complaint, as it not only ensures they receive the compensation they deserve but also raises awareness about the potential hazards of this herbicide.