Skip to Main Content
Call for a free Consultation 503-546-3167

Herbicide Found in Weed Killer Can Endanger Your Health

A recent jury verdict against giant agrochemical company Monsanto has raised the alarm about a deadly chemical found in weed killer—and in food. The chemical, called glyphosate, has been linked to cancer by scientists in California and with the World Health Organization, and you might be surprised by the types of products it is found in.

At Johnston Law Firm, we remain committed to our clients’ safety and believe in holding giant corporations accountable when their products injure innocent people.

Nine Figure Verdict Against Monsanto

Glyphosate was at the heart of a lawsuit in California that wrapped up in early August. DeWayne Johnson, a 46-year-old father, brought suit in San Francisco alleging that Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers were responsible for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he contracted while working as a school groundskeeper.

The jury agreed with Mr. Johnson and awarded him $289 million in damages. This staggering award included punitive damages against Monsanto for acting with malice and oppression when it failed to warn consumers of the cancer risk.

The case brought to light shocking information about the giant agribusiness company, including that it possessed scientific evidence reaching back to the 1980s indicating that its product was dangerous. Nevertheless, the company did not change the chemical compounds or even warn consumers of the dangers. Instead, Monsanto flooded the scientific community with fraudulent studies purporting to show that glyphosate was safe.

Another class action lawsuit is set to start in St. Louis, Missouri in October of this year. Each of the 4,000 plaintiffs alleges that they contracted cancer because of exposure to Monsanto’s herbicides.

Weed Killer with Your Breakfast?

Glyphosate is a popular herbicide that is sprayed on millions of acres of crops each year. Unfortunately, it can creep its way to your kitchen table.

According to EWG’s Children’s Health Initiative, glyphosate has been found in many products made with oats. In total, 43 out of 45 products made with conventionally grown oats contained glyphosate levels higher than what is considered safe for children. Disturbingly, even a third of products made with organically-grown oats contained the herbicide, though at levels well below what is considered safe.

Products in your pantry that could contain glyphosate right now include:

  • Granola bars, including popular brands like Quaker and Back to Nature;
  • Instant oats, including Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal;
  • Snack bars, including Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars;
  • Oat breakfast cereals, including Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal; and
  • Whole oats, including Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

More testing needs to be done, including by the federal government. According to some sources, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing for glyphosate and has found high levels in many foods.

Speak to a Portland Personal Injury Attorney Now

The recent verdict in San Francisco should be only the start of lawsuits against manufacturers of glyphosate. With luck, government regulators will increase scrutiny of other dangerous chemicals that make their way into our food supply.

If you suspect that an illness or injury is due to food poisoning, you should consult with an attorney immediately. At Johnston Law Firm, we have experience bringing these types of lawsuits and can explain your legal options. To schedule your free, initial consultation, please call 503-546-3167 or send an online message.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.