Local landscaper develops cancer after decades of Roundup use


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This week, a jury awarded a California couple more than $2 billion in a verdict against Monsanto, a subsidiary of Bayer.

The couple says they both contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their use of Roundup.
This is the third recent court decision concerning claims the company’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer.

An estimated 13,000 people have sued Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer AG, over Roundup.
A judge cancelled a trial for May 20 and ordered Bayer AG enter into mediation with plaintiffs through next week.

In our search of federal courts, we found a handful of lawsuits filed in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota against Monsanto by people exposed to Roundup that had developed the same kinds of blood cancers, including one Sioux Falls landscaper.

Gerry Anderson has been working as a commercial landscaper since 1980. He routinely used Roundup in its liquid form.

“(I) Never thought anything of it, just like a lot of other things, you just do it,” Anderson said.

Then in 2010, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma a cancer that starts in the blood cells.

“I always kind of attribute your environment has to do with a lot of things; chemicals are a contributing factor to that,” Anderson said.

The lawsuits against Monsanto/Bayer alleged scientific fraud saying the company manipulated its own research to keep cancer risks secret. 

A United Nations-sponsored scientific agency declared Roundup probably causes cancer. 

However, the EPA reaffirmed last month that the active ingredient glyphosate found in the weed killer posed “no risks to public health.”

Anderson underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2011. But four years ago his cancer came back and he continues to undergo chemotherapy once a week.

“It affects you because you’re always having to deal with it,” Anderson said. 

Anderson’s lawsuit was dismissed in federal court, but he could re-file. He says he’s not interested in the money, just in making sure other people don’t get sick.

“Probably the main thing I would like to see is that they would do more on the safety,” Anderson said.

Anderson makes sure when Roundup is used today at his nursery, workers wear gloves and masks.
KELOLAND Investigates also found another lawsuit filed by a man currently living in Arizona.

Ray Harry says he was exposed to Roundup in Alcester, South Dakota, from 1988 to 2006, and later in Iowa. According to court papers, Ray was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September of 2017. Ray’s suit has been transferred to California with the others.

Bayer AG is appealing all three big-dollar verdicts, denying its product is linked to cancer.  To read Bayer’s statement, click here.

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