Canadian lawyers file $500M class-action lawsuit against makers of Roundup

Lawyers in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta have launched a $500-million class-action lawsuit against the makers of the herbicide Roundup for allegedly withholding information that the product causes cancer.

Lawyers in Vancouver, Toronto and in Edmonton announced on Wednesday the legal action against numerous manufacturers including Bayer, Monsanto and Intertek Group. The statement of claim accuses the manufacturers of concealing “studies from regulatory authorities in Canada and the world that proved Roundup was causing or materially contributing to developing cancer.”

At the news conference in Edmonton, Tony Hunter, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, and his wife Brenda shared their story about how Roundup has impacted them.

Hunter, 55, said he grew up on a 1,000-acre farm where he and his father would routinely use Roundup. He started using the herbicide when he was around 16-years-old and continued to use the product until he was 18.

He was diagnosed with cancer when he was 24 years old and is currently in remission after battling the disease for the past 20 years.

“Growing up I believed Roundup was a safe product because there were no warnings that indicated otherwise,” he said in his statement. “I hope that justice will be achieved for those who also held the same belief that Roundup was a safe product and who were diagnosed with cancer like I was.”

The Hunters live in Saddle Lake and have to drive two hours to Edmonton in order to receive treatment. Hunter was in remission for several years before his cancer came back sometime in 2005. He would eventually be diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and lupus.

Brenda said it has been a struggle.

Basil Bansal, a lawyer with Diamond and Diamond Lawyers, said his law firm launched three class-action lawsuits in the summer on behalf of 70 people. He said recent information has led them to believe the makers of Roundup “recklessly disregarded the safety of Canadians.”

“It is our belief that the defendants acted negligently in placing Roundup in the stream of commerces in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada,” he said. “We believe the defendants withheld the risks of cancer and other health risks by secretly ghostwriting scientific journals and provided those to Health Canada. Studies that were provided to regulatory authorities in relation to this product’s safety was falsified, misleading and included manipulated control groups.”

Roundup is a glyphosate-based product originally produced by Monsanto and is widely used in Canada including in Alberta. The City of Edmonton, for example, uses Roundup Transorb and Weathermax at certain sites for weed control.

In January, Health Canada found no reason to crack down on glyphosate after conducting a re-evaluation on glyphosate in 2017.

“No pesticide regulatory authority in the world currently considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed,” Health Canada said in its statement. “We continue to monitor for new information related to glyphosate, including regulatory actions from other governments, and will take appropriate action if risks of concern to human health or the environment are identified.”

Bansal said Health Canada wasn’t included in the class-action lawsuit because the government body was tricked by the manufacturers into believing their product was safe. He wouldn’t comment on whether criminal action should be taken.

This isn’t the first lawsuit against companies that produce glyphosate-based products. In the United States, about 18,000 lawsuits have been filed against the makers. In July, a California judge awarded $86.7 million to a couple who developed cancer after using Roundup.

Bansal said that while there are currently 70 people on their class-action lawsuit he suspects once the news of the legal action is more widely known more will join.

Bayer Canada in an email statement said it stands by its product.

“Glyphosate has been extensively studied globally by scientists and regulators and results from this research confirm it is not carcinogenic,” the company said. “We firmly stand behind the safety of glyphosate-based products and as a company devoted to life sciences, assure Canadians that their health and the environment are our top priority.”

Bayer argues glyphosate-based products have been used for more than 40 years with multiple studies — more than 800 — showing them to be safe. SOURCE

WATCH: Investigative reporter talks about Bayer/Monsanto’s efforts to discredit her work

“I really was just doing my job as a journalist.”

Investigative reporter Carey Gillam sat down with nonprofit newsroom The Real News Network to discuss recent reporting on how Bayer/Monsanto attempted to discredit her reporting on the weedkiller glyphosate— the active ingredient in Roundup.

The interview comes on the heels of Gillam’s piece in The Guardian last week, I’m a journalist. Monsanto built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation, that outlined how Monsanto had an action plan specifically to discredit her reporting and her award-winning book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

“This campaign by Monsanto against me has been going on for a long time … well more than a decade certainly,” Gillam says in the Real News Network interview.

“And I really was just doing my job as a journalist. I was reporting on the new scientific evidence that was coming out about different risks—cancer risks and other health risks—associated with Monsanto’s herbicides.” SOURCE

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The next asbestos? What do the Monsanto trials mean for the future of Roundup

Protest march against Monsanto Co in Paris, France, May 23, 2015.Monsanto is facing thousands of lawsuits claiming its product Roundup causes cancer.

It’s been touted as the next asbestos and compared to the cover-ups by big tobacco companies last century, but agribusiness giant Monsanto insists Roundup doesn’t cause cancer.

Three US juries disagree, and the company is facing 13,400 plaintiffs who claim the most commonly used herbicide in the world is the reason they have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

It’s what’s called a mass tort litigation, with lawsuits involving multiple plaintiffs against one defendant, in this case Monsanto, and involves multiple trials in different jurisdictions.

Unlike a class action, injuries suffered by the plaintiffs in mass torts aren’t always the same; they are usually similar but can be wider ranging and individualised.

In the US, mass torts against pharmaceutical companies are the most common, but other well-known mass torts include cases like asbestos.

Key points:
  • Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in the world and its active ingredient is glyphosate
  • Agribusiness giant Monsanto has lost three trials in the US over links between cancer and glyphosate
  • It’s been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in damages to four cancer patients, with thousands more plaintiffs awaiting trial

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Monsanto hit with staggering $2 billion verdict in Roundup cancer suit

Image result for Monsanto Hit Again! $2 Billion Verdict For Couple Diagnosed With Cancer Caused By RoundupThis Jan. 26, 2017, file photo shows containers of Roundup, a weed killer made by Monsanto, on a shelf at a hardware store in Los Angeles.Photo: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

An Oakland jury awarded a staggering $2 billion-plus in damages Monday to a Bay Area couple who both came down with cancer after spraying Monsanto Co.’s widely used Roundup weed killer on their properties for more than 30 years.

It’s the third such verdict against Monsanto, all in Bay Area lawsuits, and by far the largest judgment against the company.

Alva Pilliod, 76, of Livermore was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, and his wife, Alberta Pilliod, 74, was diagnosed in 2015. They had used Roundup to kill weeds on the grounds of three properties they owned in the area, applying it once a week for nine months out of the year. Their lawyer estimated they sprayed 1,500 gallons of the herbicide over three decades. SOURCE

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Monsanto: Busted
How Monsanto manipulates journalists and academics
Monsanto Takes Shot at Reversing $80M Federal Roundup Verdict

A new study says there are ‘strikingly high’ rates of cancer in some Ontario industrial cities

“Recent federal air monitoring data released to Global News by Environment and Climate Change Canada shows that benzene levels in Aamjiwnaang First Nation, on the south side of Sarnia, were three times the regulated annual limit in 2017.”


Dermatologist Ivan Litvinov speaks about new scientific research in an interview with National Observer and Global News in Montreal on May 10, 2019. Photo by Global News

For years, residents in some of Canada’s largest industrial cities have wondered whether toxins from petrochemical plants and other manufacturers are making them sick.

A new peer-reviewed study has found “strikingly high” rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in Canadian border towns, including Sarnia, Ont., a city whose manufacturing sector is referred to as Canada’s Chemical Valley.

The study reviewed 18,085 Canadian cases of AML between 1992 and 2010. It found hot spots for this type of leukemia in several Canadian cities, including Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sarnia and St. Catharines.

Sarnia was at the top of the list.

VIDEO: Journalist Megan Robinson reports on a new study about elevated levels of a type of leukemia in several industrial cities. Video by Global News

Local residents in Sarnia have long been raising public health concerns about the impacts of industrial pollution. The city is surrounded by 57 companies which are registered to emit pollutants, including oil refineries and other chemical plants on either side of the U.S.-Canada border. MORE

Ontario PCs Want To Stop Tracking Toxins. Experts Say It’ll Cost Us Our Health.

The government plans to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, which makes companies report on their use of toxic chemicals and pollutants.

Emissions are seen coming from an Ontario cement plant in this 2015 file photo. Experts say the provincial government's plan to repeal a toxic substance regulation with affect human health and the environment.
Emissions are seen coming from an Ontario cement plant in this 2015 file photo. Experts say the provincial government’s plan to repeal a toxic substance regulation with affect human health and the environment. RANDY RISLING/TORONTO STAR VIA GETTY IMAGES

TORONTO — Environmentalists say Ontarians can expect more pollution if the Progressive Conservatives go through with their plan to repeal a toxic substances regulation.

“Exposure to toxic chemicals such as hormone disruptors and air pollutants adds billions of dollars in health care costs and significantly increases the burden of chronic diseases such as cancer and asthma,” Tim Gray, the executive director of advocacy organization Environmental Defence said in a statement.

“The Ontario government is not only undermining its own commitment to tackle pollution … it is also sending the wrong signal to industry and will encourage them to dump more toxics into our air, water and consumer goods.”

Schedule 5 of the government’s proposed Bill 66 repeals the Toxics Reduction Act (TRA). The 2009 act requires companies that use toxic substances, including those that can cause cancer, to create a plan to reduce that use. Whether or not they actually implement the plan, though, is voluntary. About 40 per cent of facilities have done so.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Economic Development Todd Smith make an announcement in February...
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Economic Development Todd Smith make an announcement in February 2019. Smith introduced Bill 66 on Dec. 6, 2018. TODD SMITH/FACEBOOK

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Cancer may no longer be deadly in future, say British researchers announcing breakthrough

cancer-1LONDON — Scientists have discovered a breakthrough treatment to fight cancer, and claim the disease will no longer be deadly for future generations.

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London believe it is possible to strengthen the body’s defences by transplanting immune cells from strangers. Patients will begin to receive the new treatment next year, and the team now wants to establish “immune banks” to store disease-fighting cells. MORE