The purpose of the Environmental Protection Agency is to help safeguard public health throughout the United States by regulating and restricting the use of potentially harmful chemicals. However, two recent product liability trials in California have brought forth evidence that raises questions about whether the EPA is performing due diligence when it comes to oversight of pesticides and herbicides. In each of the two trials, a jury found that the chemical company Monsanto, manufacturer of Roundup herbicides, failed to warn consumers that their products could cause cancer, requiring the company to pay large amounts of money in damages to the plaintiffs.
At issue is the chemical glyphosate, which the juries have determined contributes to cancer development based on the evidence presented in the trials. The EPA has reportedly been aware that glyphosate poses a cancer risk to humans since the 1980s when testing demonstrated rare kidney tumors in mice dosed with the chemical. Allegedly, however, the EPA administrators at the time nevertheless assured the American public of the chemical's safety, ignoring the evidence that its own scientists discovered.
More recently, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry conducted an evaluation of the toxicity of glyphosate and intended to release the findings three years ago, but Monsanto reportedly succeeded in delaying the release of the review until now by allegedly engaging the assistance of EPA officials.
As more information comes to light about the toxicity of products such as common herbicides and pesticides, people with a reason to believe that such a product caused an illness or injury may find it helpful to discuss the case with an attorney.