Walmart No Cancer Warnings on Roundup California Class Action

The herbicide Roundup contains a substance called glyphosate which is alleged to be a carcinogen. This class action brings suit against Walmart, Inc. for selling various formulations of Roundup “despite knowledge that Roundup may cause cancer.”

California has classified glyphosate, the complaint says, “as a chemical known to cause cancer, such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Glyphosate is also a Class 2A herbicide, “meaning the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined it is probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate herbicides have been banned in many places around the world.

In recent years, three juries have agreed that Roundup caused certain users to develop cancer, awarding almost $100 million in compensatory damages and more than $2 billion in punitive damages. (Some of these awards have been reduced, and the cases are currently on appeal.)

Roundup also contains chemicals that are considered to be “inert” and are therefore allowed be kept as trade secrets. However, the complaint suggests that these ingredients may not in fact be inert but may also be toxic to human beings.

Despite all this, the complaint says, Walmart has continued to sell Roundup.

Walmart does not make Roundup. (It is made by Monsanto, Bayer Corporation, or Bayer AG.) The complaint admits that the company has no control over the information on Roundup labels, but “it chose to sell the products without providing consumers with any additional information on its website, store shelves or at the point of sale about the products’ potential health risks.”

While Roundup’s labels say, “Keep Out of Reach of Children” and “Caution,” they do not identify any hazards posed by the herbicide except for “moderate eye irritation.” The complaint claims, “This warning gives the false impression eye irritation is the only risk posed by Roundup, when in fact, glyphosate is known to have links to cancer…”

The complaint alleges that selling Roundup, despite knowing that it may be a carcinogen, constitutes an unfair business practice under California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Oddly, the complaint defines the class as “[a]ll persons in the State of California who purchased at least one Roundup product from Costco Wholesale Corporation, for personal use and not for resale, since May 22, 2016.” Since Costco is not a defendant in this case, the complaint presumably intended to cite Walmart as the place of purchase. (The reference to Costco may have been left over from a previous class action against that company.)

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Walmart No Cancer Warnings on Roundup California Complaint

May 22, 2020

The herbicide Roundup contains a substance called glyphosate which is alleged to be a carcinogen. This class action brings suit against Walmart, Inc. for selling various formulations of Roundup “despite knowledge that Roundup may cause cancer.”

Walmart No Cancer Warnings on Roundup California Complaint

Case Event History

Walmart No Cancer Warnings on Roundup California Complaint

May 22, 2020

The herbicide Roundup contains a substance called glyphosate which is alleged to be a carcinogen. This class action brings suit against Walmart, Inc. for selling various formulations of Roundup “despite knowledge that Roundup may cause cancer.”

Walmart No Cancer Warnings on Roundup California Complaint
Tags: Hazardous or Toxic Materials, Unfair Business Practices