Two Lawsuits Claim that Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Has Caused Cancer

LBN’s Emily Collins reports that all concern about Monsanto’s herbicides has gone past the talking stage. Very recently, two federal lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto involving its Roundup herbicide. Enrique Rubio, a 58-yeaer-old former farm worker, has filed suit in California alleging that he developed bone cancer because exposure to Monsanto herbicides. The other case, filed in New York by Judi Fitzgerald, alleges that she developed leukemia as a result of exposure to Monsanto herbicides. [The cases are Rubio v. Monsanto and Fitzgerald v. Monsanto.]

The lawsuits allege that Monsanto knew or should have known that Roundup was a dangerous product. Roundup is Monsanto’s brand name for glyphosate, a broad spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds in back yards and in crop fields. Earlier this year, the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer linked certain cancers—including Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma—to glyphosate exposure.

Nations around the world took note of this report. Since that time, France has banned the sale of Roundup, as have The Netherlands, Bermuda, and others. Monsanto stands behind its product and says that the claimed links to cancer are false. However, the lawyers involved believe that their cases are sound. The lawyer for Mr. Rubio alleges that Monsanto “championed falsified data and attacked legitimate studies that revealed its dangers” and “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe.”

LBN will continue to follow this story.

The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Australian Court Ruling in BRCA1 Case Will Benefit Australian Women Concerned about Breast Cancer

Emily Collins reports that the High Court of Australia struck a blow in favor of women who are concerned about breast cancer. In a landmark ruling, the court unanimously held that American biotech company Myriad Genetics, Inc. could not patent gene coding for a BRCA1 protein, which acts as a tumor suppressor. As Science Alert explains it, “The decision means that a single company will no longer be able to control research on the gene, or receive all the profits from testing for it.” The decision will be very important for Australian women.


Myriad Genetics held the patent for BRCA1 in Australia, and its claim had been upheld in two earlier cases. Myriad had licensed its patent to an Australian company, Genetic Technologies. Australians were forced to pay whatever price the company set for testing. The lawsuit was brought by cancer survivor Yvonne D’Arcy. The High Court’s ruling agreed with the plaintiff’s position that Myriad did not produce anything new that could be patented.

The Australian ruling agrees with the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics in 2013 that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated. Ms. D’Arcy hopes that other countries will follow the lead of Australia and the United States.

The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.