This blog has previously discussed the negative effects of pesticides on children's IQs. Now a new study reveals that Roundup, the world's best-selling herbicide, is among the pesticides that cause birth defects.
Roundup is the brand name for an herbicide produced by the U.S. company Monsanto. Its active ingredient is glyphosate, which is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. Roundup has been the number one-selling herbicide since 1980, when regulators first learned that glyphosate caused birth defects in laboratory animals. Yet these regulators did not inform the public of the results. Nor did the European Commission, which has known of the birth defects correlation since 2002, make its concerns public. Instead, the public was repeatedly told that the herbicide was safe. As recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety informed the European Commission that there was no evidence of a birth defects link.
The new report was published by Earth Open Source. It noted that in addition to birth defects, Roundup causes endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer. Even more concerning, it causes these defects at very low doses, comparable to pesticide traces in one's food. The report was released one month after researchers found that genetically modified crops, used in conjunction with Roundup, contained a pathogen that may be linked to animal miscarriages. Don Huber, an emeritus professor at Perdue University who observed the pathogen, wrote to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, claiming that glyphosate led to an increase in more than 40 plant diseases, dismantled plant defenses, and reduced the level of nutrients found in plants. He stated that there should be a moratorium on deregulating crops genetically altered to be immune to Roundup.
The glyphosate chemical will not be reviewed under more stringent standards until 2030. Nonetheless, the Earth Open Source study will likely cause many people to be wary of eating genetically modified plants from non-organic farms. For mothers of children with birth defects, the study may provide necessary evidence for a toxic tort lawsuit against the Roundup manufacturer. In order to have a successful toxic tort lawsuit, you must prove that Monsanto was negligent and/or strictly liable for the damage caused by Roundup. To prove Monsanto's liability, you must show that it had a duty to deliver a safe product to you, that it breached that duty, and that the result caused your child's birth defect.
One of the most difficult aspects of your case would be to prove that Roundup alone was primarily responsible. You would need to determine to what extent you were exposed to Roundup. Did you routinely eat plant foods that would have been sprayed with the herbicide? You would also need to effectively rule out genetics, medical malpractice, and other environmental hazards. You may also find that there are other mothers in similar situations who have children with birth defects. If enough are affected, you could form a class-action lawsuit.
In this situation, you may want to seek an injunction, as well as a money award, against the manufacturer. An injunction can force the losing party to take an action, but is more typically used to prevent an action. In this case, you would be using the injunction to stop the production of glyphosate. However, if you seek an injunction, be sure to wait no longer than necessary to file, or the manufacturer might employ the "laches" defense. The laches argument states that the injured party "sat on his or her rights," waiting until it was too late to grant proper relief. At this point, ruling in favor of the injured party would only cause great harm to the defendant. Some defendants have won cases using the laches defense.
The birth defect lawyers at Oshman & Mirisola, LLP have successfully represented clients in birth defect lawsuits for more than 35 years. If your infant was born with a birth defect that could be traced to Roundup or another herbicide with glyphosate, please contact us today at (800) 400-8182 or submit our online Contact Us form.