A Timeline of Monsanto’s Roundup Controversy & Lawsuits

Monsanto, the maker of Roundup weedkiller, has been involved in a number of lawsuits and controversies since it released the product in 1974. Here’s an overview of some key developments over the years.
Part 1: 1975 – Monsanto releases its first major herbicide product
Part 2: 1978-1982 – The EPA establishes “safe” level for glyphosate residue on crops
Part 3: 1986-1990 – First lawsuit filed against Monsanto after causing cancer by using glyphosate
Part 4/5 1996-2015 – Multiple lawsuits alleging that exposure to Roundup caused various forms of nonlethal cancers

The “monsanto history timeline” is a timeline of Monsanto’s Roundup Controversy & Lawsuits. It begins with the first Roundup lawsuit in August, 1993 and ends with the most recent lawsuit in March, 2019.

A Timeline of Monsanto's Roundup Controversy & Lawsuits

Monsanto has a history of causing controversy. This is the firm that gave us Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War that left both Vietnamese and American soldiers traumatized. (Later, Monsanto settled with Vietnam vets for $180 million over diseases like leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory cancer.)

Monsanto released Roundup (glyphosate) in 1974, four years after the United States ceased using Agent Orange. It immediately became a standard on most American farms.

However, Roundup, like Agent Orange, would be related to cancer. Due to litigation, this herbicide, too, might cost the corporation millions, if not billions of dollars.

Former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson received a $289 million verdict in August 2018 in the first Roundup lawsuit to go to trial. After reportedly applying the pesticide at work, Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with non-lymphoma. Hodgkin’s




Monsanto patents and distributes Roundup-Ready seeds, which have been genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide Roundup. (These seeds/crops are referred to as GMCs, which stands for genetically modified crops.) This enables farmers to control weeds (at least in the near term) without jeopardizing their own crops.

Roundup-Ready crops will emerge to dominate their respective marketplaces over the next 20 years, ultimately capturing 90% of the market.

Some say that Monsanto has a monopoly on the biotech business due to the Roundup-Ready patent and related legal safeguards, as well as Monsanto’s aggressive acquisitions of its rivals. (It is, without a doubt, the world’s biggest biotech firm.)


On June 12, the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc. will be released. Monsanto is portrayed in a negative light in the film, with the business deploying an army of lawyers to coerce farmers into using its Roundup-Ready soybeans—and suing any who refuse.

The video makes the point that Roundup-Ready seeds are “terminating” seeds. Farmers won’t be able to replant them; instead, they’ll have to return to Monsanto to purchase new seeds when they run out.

Food, Inc. does so much damage to Monsanto’s image that the company has set up several pages on its website just to respond to the accusations made in the film.


A research published in Entropy, a peer-reviewed scientific publication located in Switzerland, suggests that

Other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins are exacerbated by glyphosate. Inflammation disrupts cellular systems throughout the body, which has an insidious negative influence on the body that develops progressively over time.

Cancer is one of the harmful repercussions of this unfavorable influence, according to the research.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC (part of the World Health Organization, or WHO), published a report in March assessing glyphosate’s possible cancer-causing (carcinogenic) effects (Roundup). Glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” according to the study.

In the autumn of that year, the first of thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto over Roundup’s purported cancer-causing effects is filed. Many of the claimants, like Yolanda Mendoza, are home gardeners who use Roundup every week on their lawn.

In 2013, Ms. Mendoza, a mother of three, was diagnosed with non-lymphoma. Hodgkin’s

“The only thing they have in common is that they all used Roundup and had non-lymphoma.” Hodgkin’s

“Some people are landscapers, other people are migrant agricultural workers, some people are farmers,” her attorney Robin L. Greenwald told CBS News. The only thing they have in common is that they all used Roundup and had non-lymphoma.” Hodgkin’s

Monsanto earns $4.75 billion in pesticide sales each year.


Herbicides like glyphosate are “related with a significant risk of cutaneous melanoma” (skin cancer), according to a research published in April in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOME).

Bayer AG, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, announced in September that it will purchase Monsanto for $66 billion, sparking severe worries about growing agriculture costs. (After the Dow-DuPont agreement, this is the year’s second major merger.)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovers tiny quantities of Roundup in several oatmeals, cereals, and infant foods later that month.

The next month, federal courts in the Northern District of California consolidated 21 Monsanto Roundup claims into a multi-district litigation (MDL).


In May, the Department of Justice approved Bayer and Monsanto’s $63 billion merger, the latest in a string of multibillion-dollar agricultural mergers that would give a few multinational firms unparalleled power over the pesticides and seeds that farmers depend on.


Bayer said in June that it will no longer use the Monsanto moniker. (Monsanto is consistently ranked as one of America’s most despised corporations.)

Dewayne Johnson, a former groundskeeper, received a $289 million judgement in August in the first Roundup action to go to trial. After reportedly applying the pesticide at work, Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with non-lymphoma. Hodgkin’s


Please contact us for a free legal consultation if you or a loved one developed Non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s after using Roundup. With over 420 lawyers and a support team of 2,000, our business is one of the most successful consumer protection companies in the nation. Our slogan, “For the People,” refers to our history of standing up to bullies and the fact that we do not represent major businesses.

We may be able to assist you in obtaining financial compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other costs. Don’t put it off any longer; many cases are time-sensitive, and you might be entitled money.

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Monsanto is the manufacturer of Roundup, a widely used herbicide. They have been in the news recently because of lawsuits that allege Monsanto knew about the dangers of their product and continued to sell it anyways. Reference: is monsanto still in business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Roundup lawsuits have been settled?

A: One.

When did Roundup litigation begin?

A: Roundup litigation began in 1993.

In what year did Monsanto develop Roundup?

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