An Arizona man battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma blames Monsanto for his illness, claiming in a federal lawsuit that the agrochemical giant concealed its knowledge of cancer risks associated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup pesticide.
Ray Harry, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, who used to live in Iowa, filed his complaint against Monsanto in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, Iowa. He states in his lawsuit that he used Roundup on his properties for nearly a quarter of a decade, first in South Dakota from 1988 to 2006 and then in Iowa from 2011-2016, according to The Sioux City Journal.
Mr. Harry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September 2017. He filed his lawsuit against Monsanto on Aug. 14, days after a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay a terminally ill former groundskeeper $289 million. The plaintiff in that groundbreaking case, DeWayne “Lee” Johnson, claimed routine exposure to Monsanto pesticides on the job caused him to develop his terminal cancer.
Like thousands of other lawsuits against Monsanto – now numbering about 8,000 – Mr. Harry’s complaint points to evidence that Monsanto was aware of glyphosate’s cancer link but worked to cover up the connection and deceive the public about the safety of its products.
“Monsanto has led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup is safe,” Mr. Harry alleges in his lawsuit.
Mr. Harry’s lawsuit claims he did not know about glyphosate’s health risks until sometime in 2015 when International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the world’s leading cancer authority, classified the chemical is a probable human carcinogen.
Monsanto and its parent company Bayer deny a link exists between glyphosate and cancer. In its defense in DeWayne Johnson’s trial, Monsanto claimed the IARC thinks everything it studies causes cancer – a claim that Alfred Neugut, an oncologist, cancer epidemiologist, and Columbia University professor, called “idiotic.”