A Canadian law firm has filed a $500 million class-action lawsuit against Monsanto and its owner Bayer. It says they’ve been acting with reckless disregard for the safety of Canadians by selling weed killer Roundup.
According to the firm Diamond & Diamond, there are currently more than 60 individuals named as plaintiffs, but it says that thousands may have been affected.
The plaintiffs involved in this class-action lawsuit are looking not only for financial compensation, but also for “behavior modification” so that the same thing doesn’t happen again in the future with other products in Canada.
“If there’s not these lawsuits that force companies like Monsanto to write these big cheques, they have no incentive to change the way they do business,” Darryl Singer, the head of commercial and civil litigation at Diamond & Diamond, told CBC News.
He explained the plaintiffs have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer, including brain and lung cancer. Some of the clients are acting on behalf of an estate.
“These are not minor injuries,” Singer said, adding that some of the plaintiffs “are not likely to see the end of this lawsuit because they will pass away before that.”
Bayer Canada said it will “vigorously defend” its products. “While we have great sympathy for the plaintiffs, glyphosate-based herbicides are not the cause of their illnesses,” the company said in a statement.
“Glyphosate has been extensively studied globally by scientists and regulators, and results from this research confirm it is not carcinogenic. We firmly stand behind the safety of glyphosate-based products and as a company devoted to life sciences, assure Canadians that their health and the environment are our top priority.”
The lawsuit is the first class action in Canada and follows class-action lawsuits filed against Bayer and Monsanto in the United States. Lawsuits against Roundup manufacturers have been also filed this year in British Columbia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.