In the newest Roundup lawsuit trial, Pilliod v. Monsanto Co., a married couple claims the pesticide caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after 35 years of use.
Alva, 76, and Alberta Pilliod, 74, were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma within four years of one another. The couple used Roundup weedkiller on their California properties for over 35 years. It wasn’t until 2017, after Alva saw a commercial indicating Roundup may cause cancer, they stopped using it. At this point, they had both already developed aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (NHL).
After reviewing over 2,000 medical records of the Pilliod couple, Dr. Dennis Weisenburger of the City of Hope National Medical Center, said Roundup was the most significant factor causing their cancer.
Both Pilliod’s have undergone chemotherapy to treat their NHL, which only makes up 4% of cancers worldwide. Their lawsuit against Monsanto, manufacturer of Roundup, began earlier this month on the heels of a victorious $80 settlement for causing another California man’s cancer. Just last summer, a jury awarded a former school groundskeeper with $289 million in damages for the same reasons. Bayer AG is appealing both verdicts.
Weisenburger said the Pilliod’s exposure to Roundup was a significant cancer risk that wasn’t offset by other factors, such as their weight and age. He further said NHL doesn’t run in either of their families, nor were they exposed to other pesticides at similar high levels.
Weisenburger estimated Alva used Roundup roughly 729 times, while Alberta used it roughly 270 times, for a combined total of 1,500 gallons of the pesticide. They used it without taking safety precautions– often spraying it on their clothing. Alva was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, while Alberta was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Due to this reasoning, Weisenburger claimed their exposure to Roundup was a significant factor in their cancer diagnosis.
Weisenburger has become somewhat of an expert in NHL and has seen a sharp increase in the population for decades. He has authored nearly 400 peer-reviewed articles on the topic as well. He spent a decent amount of time backing up studies cited by the Pilliod’s epidemiologist, Dr. Beate Ritz.
Weisenburger noted a study that found the Roundup mixture is 200 times more genotoxic (DNA damaging) than its active ingredient, glyphosate, on its own.
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