Glyphosate: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

In an unusual development Thailand briefly joined the list of countries proposing to ban glyphosate in light of new evidence suggesting a link between the weed killer and ill-health. The ban was due to come into force on 01/12/19. However, having announced the ban on glyphosate, and other chemicals, Thailand has since reversed its decision citing a lack of reasonable alternatives to the product and the impact the ban may have on the agricultural industry.

Mexico recently banned the import of 1,000 tons of glyphosate into the country in November 2019. According to the Associated Press the environment department of the Mexican government is quoted as saying "glyphosate represents a high environmental risk, given the credible presumption that its use can cause serious environmental damage and irreversible health damage."

In Germany 10,000 farmers took to the streets of Berlin in November to protest at the proposed ban on glyphosate, amongst other issues. The German protests were followed by a similar demonstration by French farmers who are likewise concerned about the potential impact that a glyphosate ban could have on their industry.

In Canada the first class action has been filed for $500m in respect of glyphosate exposure. There are several individual suits pending in Canada as well as the class action. The CBC reports that there are some 60 named individuals in the class action. The plaintiffs in this case do not just allege that glyphosate as caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but also brain and lung cancer. It will be interesting to see what, if any, evidence is used from the US cases in this action.

In Australia a class action, led by an Australian farmer Nando Maisano, has been filed. Mr Maisano alleges that he used Roundup since the 1970s with little or no precautions. In a pleading similar to that of Mr Johnson in the USA Mr Maisono alleges that he was drenched in the pesticide. Mr Maisono and the other 100 claimants allege that the use of glyphosate has caused them to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

For those that missed it I covered the issue of glyphosate at our Disease Conference in October together with Carolyn O'Connor from Wilson Elser in the US and Christian Viti from Wootten Kearney in Australia. Working with our Legalign partners and our international DACB offices we shall continue to bring you the latest developments in this area.

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