The Bitter Harvest: RoundUp Lawsuit & Glyphosate Use In U.S.

Exploring RoundUp lawsuit. Glyphosate's link to cancer, especially non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Delve into the herbicide's history and debates.

Research Team


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Global Glyphosate Production and Usage from 1994 to 2014, by tons

Global glyphosate use from 1997-2011 is interpolated, following the growth trajectory in total, U.S. agricultural glyphosate use.

Source: USDA

The Rise of Glyphosate: From Agricultural Staple to Controversial Herbicide

Glyphosate, introduced in 1974, quickly became a cornerstone of modern agricultural practices due to its broad-spectrum application. Its usage escalated even further with the development of genetically modified (GM) crops resistant to glyphosate. For decades, regulatory bodies considered glyphosate to have low hazard potential to mammals. However, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic", sparking a global debate. This stance contrasted with evaluations by the European Union (EU) and joint assessments by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which did not find a carcinogenic link.

Analyzing Glyphosate's Usage Trends

To understand the impact of glyphosate on agriculture and the environment, we will examine the application data from 1994 to 2014. In 1994, approximately 62,056 tons of glyphosate were used in the United States, with agricultural usage accounting for 76% of the total. However, by 2014, glyphosate usage had skyrocketed to over 910,293 tons, representing a staggering increase of 1366% from 1994 levels. Agricultural use continued to dominate, reaching nearly 90% of the total usage in 2014.

This exponential rise in glyphosate use can be attributed to the widespread adoption of glyphosate-resistant GM crops. The data reveals a consistent year-over-year increase, with a significant surge in the late 1990s, aligning with the introduction and widespread adoption of these GM crops. The peak years of 2007 to 2014 witnessed the highest levels of glyphosate usage, averaging around 66,000 tons per year. These figures highlight the integral role glyphosate plays in modern U.S. agriculture.

Environmental and Health Implications of Glyphosate's Surge

The dramatic increase in glyphosate usage raises concerns regarding its safety and environmental impact. With the IARC classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, the RoundUp Lawsuit has shed light on the potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to this herbicide. Plaintiffs, ranging from agricultural workers to residential users, claim that their diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are directly linked to their use of RoundUp. Notable lawsuits, such as Donnetta Stephens' case and the class-action lawsuit led by Lisa Jones, Horacio Torres Bonilla, and Kristoffer Yee, have brought attention to Monsanto's marketing practices and alleged concealment of glyphosate's dangers.

While the IARC's classification raised alarm bells, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans." However, independent studies, such as one published in Mutation Research, have found a significant increase in the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among heavy glyphosate users. This conflicting scientific opinion further fuels the controversy and ongoing legal scrutiny.

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Understanding the RoundUp Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Lawsuit

The RoundUp lawsuits primarily revolve around the alleged link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Plaintiffs argue that RoundUp usage was a significant contributing factor to their cancer diagnoses. In response to the mounting lawsuits, Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, agreed to a substantial $10 billion settlement in June 2020, underscoring the seriousness and scale of these allegations.

RoundUp weed killer containing glyphosate

RoundUp Weed Killer, has been a top-selling product for Monsanto. The introduction of "Roundup Ready" crops in the 1990s led to a significant increase in glyphosate usage in the United States. However, the financial success of RoundUp is now overshadowed by growing health concerns and legal challenges.

The Future of RoundUp and Glyphosate: Navigating Uncertain Territory

As legal battles continue, the future of RoundUp and glyphosate remains uncertain. The conflicting views of international regulatory bodies and ongoing scientific research highlight the complexity of assessing glyphosate's safety. The outcome of these lawsuits has the potential to reshape legal precedents, influence agricultural practices, and inform consumer choices.


The RoundUp lawsuits have drawn attention to the alleged link between glyphosate exposure and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While regulatory bodies and scientific opinions vary, the mounting evidence and legal battles surrounding RoundUp underscore the need for a thorough examination of glyphosate's safety. As the world navigates the future of RoundUp and glyphosate, the impact on agriculture, public health policies, and consumer decisions will undoubtedly be significant.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical, or any other professional advice. The information presented is based on data and research available at the time of writing and is subject to change as new information emerges. Readers are advised to consult with professional advisors for specific advice tailored to their situation. The mention of any company, product, lawsuit, or scientific study does not imply endorsement or blame, and the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of any institutions or entities mentioned within.

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