A class action suit against the Monsanto corporation was filed in Los Angeles this week in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County. It accuses the company of false advertising for its implied claims that the herbicide, Roundup, is safe for humans. As the lawsuit details:
Defendant makes the claim that Roundup, the world’s most popular weedkiller, works by targeting an enzyme supposedly found only in plants, but not in people. And this is blatantly false.
The enzyme (EPSP synthase), the lawsuit claims, can be found in human gut bacteria. Though scientific studies say glyphosate is safe for humans because they do not have the enzyme, the plaintiffs allege that this is incorrect.
Glyphosate [the main ingredient in Roundup] works by inhibiting weeds from producing EPSP synthase—and once rendered unable to produce this enzyme—weeds cannot uptake minerals, nor can they make proteins from amino acids, and weeds then starve to death.
The lawsuit suggests that when people eat foods that have been sprayed with Roundup, this same, deathly mechanism goes to work on the EPSP synthase that plaintiffs say is found in the human gut:
The same chemistry that kills backyard weeds likewise kills gut bacteria, and this bacteria kill-off compromises our digestion, metabolism, and vital immune system functions.
The suit contends:
When we eat crops sprayed with glyphosate, we ingest glyphosate, and detectable quantities accumulate in our tissues…Glyphosate has been detected in urine, blood, even breast milk—and 75% of rainwater samples.
The lawsuit also alleges many adverse health effects of consuming glyphosate:
Because it kills off our gut bacteria, glyphosate is linked to stomach and bowel problems, indigestion, ulcers, colitis, gluten intolerance, insomnia, lethargy, depression, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, allergies, obesity, diabetes, infertility, liver disease, renal failure, autism, Alzheimer’s, endocrine disruption, and the W.H.O. recently announced it is ‘probably carcinogenic.’
The complaint further claims that dogs and cats carry the EPSP synthase enzyme, which puts them at risk for health issues related to ingestion of Roundup-coated products.
If the allegations of the suit are proven true, Monsanto has deceived consumers into believing Roundup cannot harm humans, thereby helping to create an epidemic of health issues. The United States government has also been complicit, passing laws to protect the corrupt mega-corporation and colluding with the Monsanto lobby. In 2013, the EPA raised the minimum amount of glyphosate that could be used on food crops.
Though Monsanto’s power is continually bolstered by the government, the company is losing ground and popularity. Growing numbers of countries are banning Monsanto products while a steady slew of bad press has made a significant dent in the company’s profits.
The lawsuit seeks to include anyone as a plaintiff who purchased Roundup or Roundup-related products during the last four years. It seeks unspecified damages and anticipates “thousands and thousands of class members.”