Via PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) — Prominent Pensacola attorney Mike Papantonio is leading a large lawsuit against Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer AG, for its Roundup product and its alleged links to cancer. In May, a $2 billion verdict was reached for a lawsuit in California. A couple said they had used Roundup for 30 years for landscaping and both got cancer.
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Sue Straughn: Life or death situation is how Pensacola attorney Mike Papantonio describes the fight against the popular weed killer Roundup. Last month, $2 billion were awarded to a couple in California linking that product to cancer. Papantonio has been building a case of his own. Channel 3’s Chorus Nylander joins us in the studio to explain what’s behind that lawsuit.
Chorus Nylander: Sue, Mike Papantonio says it’s clear Roundup is not safe and he blames a lack of government oversight for allowing things to get this far. A crisis he believes has gone beyond the point of no return.
Mike Papantonio: All people had to do was do their job. That’s all. That’s all it took. Just somebody doing their job.
Chorus Nylander: Prominent Pensacola attorney Mike Papantonio says he’s angry about the popular weed killer, Monsanto Roundup, and its alleged links to cancer.
Mike Papantonio: We know this. We know Roundup causes birth defects. We know Roundup causes cancer. We know Roundup causes gastrointestinal diseases that we don’t even know or have names for it and we’re spraying it all over the world.
Chorus Nylander: The product has faced now billions of dollars in legal payouts. Papantonio has been building a case against the company for years and says he’s seeing about 30 new clients a week with stories of using the product and being diagnosed with cancers. He expects more than a billion dollars in damages from his lawsuit.
Mike Papantonio: We’re creating an epidemic I don’t know that we can reverse until we make some people do more than pay a fine.
Chorus Nylander: He gave us an email chain between his staff and the top toxicologist for Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer AG, in it the toxicologist says, you cannot say Roundup is not a carcinogen because more testing needs to be done.
Mike Papantonio: We haven’t even studied this product long enough to know if it causes cancer or not.
Chorus Nylander: Olivia Mora, says she knows about Roundup all too well and is part of ongoing litigation.
Olivia Mora: One of my relatives, um, he was diagnosed and he died of cancer.
Chorus Nylander: She wants to see these lawsuits make a change.
Olivia Mora: This is their justice for the families. They can move on.
Chorus Nylander: But not everyone is up in arms over Roundup. Joe Ellen Cato and her husband aren’t worried about the product.
Joe Ellen Cato: I’m no more concerned about Roundup than I am about other products I use within the house. And unfortunately, I think a lot of these suits are just kind of sort of people who think they’re going to hit the lottery.
Chorus Nylander: But Papantonio disagrees and believes this is a real issue with real lives on the line.
Mike Papantonio: This is absolutely a life or death situation.
Chorus Nylander: Mike Papantonio says his case will go before a jury in St Louis, Missouri, come January. Live in the studio, Chorus Nylander, Channel 3 news.