Three plaintiffs alleging that Roundup weedkiller caused them to develop cancer have begun a trial in St. Louis, the headquarters of Monsanto. 

The August 3rd trial marks the start of the eighth Roundup trial and the first in Monsanto’s hometown. Juries have returned multi-million-dollar plaintiff verdicts in the first three trials. Monsanto has been cleared of liability in the four most recent trials. 

In this latest Roundup cancer trial, plaintiffs Marty Cox, Cheryl Davis and Gary Gentile are seeking punitive damages for medical bills, treatments, physical pain and mental anguish, the St. Louis Record reported. Cox was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, Gentile with high-grade B-cell lymphoma and Davis with follicular lymphoma.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued during opening statements that the chemicals in Roundup, including its active ingredient, glyphosate, can penetrate human skin, travel in the bloodstream, and ultimately end up in the lymph nodes, which is where lymphoma starts. 

In July, a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey released by the CDC revealed that glyphosate was present in the urine of 80% of the 2,310 urine samples from test subjects collected, with samples obtained from subjects as young as six years of age. 

Roundup, the world’s best-selling pesticide, has not been the subject of a proper epidemiological study, plaintiff’s attorneys argued, adding that lymphoma can take several years to develop and that users of Roundup are up to three times more at risk of developing lymphoma than non-users.

Since the plaintiffs are retired, they are not seeking lost wages. However, their attorneys are seeking compensation for them because they still face steep medical bills and are suffering from physical pain and mental anguish due to difficulty swallowing, undergoing chemotherapy treatments, hospitalization, anxiety of dying and fear of death.

Plaintiff's attorneys called on Dr. Chuck Benbrook, a pesticide scientist, to testify at the trial. Dr. Benbrook suggested that pesticide companies needed to be proactive about the potential harm of their products. When asked, “Who is responsible for the effects (of the pesticides)?” Benbrook replied, “Initially, it’s the company.” 

Benbrook added that a pesticide company is obligated to provide side effect information to the EPA in a timely fashion.