Renewable Farming

Hearing opens March 5 on lawsuits charging Roundup causes cancer

Among the thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto, one closely watched case gets underway Monday, March 5 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. More than 365 lawsuits have been combined into one “multidistrict litigation.” In this week’s hearing, the court will evaluate the “scientific basis” of plaintiff and defense claims presented by expert witnesses.

March 5, 2018 — You can see details of expert witnesses for the plaintiff and defendant in the summary at this link, which takes you to the plaintiff attorney’s website.  Plaintiffs must demonstrate scientifically that glyphosate, the “active” ingredient in Roundup, causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

California’s environmental protection agency earlier declared that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. However, another California court finding exempts companies from posting that warning on containers of glyphosate for sale.

Journalist and author Carey Gillam is following the court case and sending periodic summaries via her Twitter blog. You can follow the most recent comments without a Twitter account by opening Carey’s web page under “About” and checking the right-hand column.  The link is

Carey has just published a new book, “WHITEWASH  The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science”  See reviews on Amazon at this link.

She is Research Director at U.S. Right to Know, which just posted this press release about the hearings:

U.S. Right to Know News Release
For Immediate Release: Monday, March 5, 2018
For More Information Contact: Carey Gillam (913) 526-6190; Stacy Malkan (510) 542-9224

Farmers Vs. Monsanto: Glyphosate Showdown Comes to US Court in San Francisco; “Science Week” in a federal court will decide if farmer cancer lawsuits move forward

San Francisco, Calif.; March 5, 2018 — A federal court hearing in San Francisco this week will turn a spotlight on the science surrounding the world’s most widely used pesticide, glyphosate, and determine whether farmers and their families will be able to proceed with legal action against Monsanto Co. over cancer concerns. 

More than 365 lawsuits are pending against Monsanto in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, filed by people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that Monsanto covered up the risks.  

The court has dubbed the March 5-9 events as “science week” because the only evidence to be presented will come from experts in cancer science, including epidemiologists, toxicologists, and biomedical statistical analysts called to analyze relevant research. The scientists will present their best scientific evidence to U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria, who will decide if the lawsuits move forward or are halted in their tracks. 

Journalist and author Carey Gillam of U.S. Right to Know will be live blogging the event from the court house.  Follow her posts here: 

Gillam is author of “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science” (Island Press, 2017) — “a gutsy, compelling read from beginning to end, especially for readers who enjoy the kind of hard-nosed, shoe-leather reporting that used to be the hallmark of great journalism,” according to the Society for Environmental Journalists’ BookShelf review 

Gillam is also research director of U.S. Right to Know, a consumer and public health watchdog group. USRTK is posting documents and analysis from the MDL glyphosate cancer cases on our Monsanto Papers page.   

U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit consumer and public health organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy.  For more information, see


The case is particularly poignant to many Renewable Farming associates of ours, who saw longtime friend Ray Roettger taken by non-Hodgkin lymphoma Nov. 27, 2016. Ray’s career spanned farming, owning a fertilizer firm and serving as a consultant with AgriEnergy Resources. All his personal and professional friends remember him as a family man with a warm smile and a serving heart.