It’s been nearly eight years since the filing of the first US lawsuit alleging that Roundup weed killer and other herbicides made by Monsanto with a chemical called glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Fueled by findings from international cancer scientists, the allegations sprawled into nationwide litigation that ultimately included more than 100,000 plaintiffs, and unveiled long-hidden corporate secrets.
After plaintiffs won the first three trials, Bayer AG, which bought Monsanto in 2018 as the first Roundup trial was getting underway, agreed to pay more than $11 billion to try to settle the litigation, and pledged to withdraw Roundup and other glyphosate-based products from the US consumer market. Though most plaintiffs have now settled, many opted out of the settlement, and trials around the US are continuing.
Chadi Nabhan, MD, MBA, a lymphoma specialist formerly with the University of Chicago, has been a key expert witness in many of the plaintiffs’ cases, including those who won the first three trials.
In his new book, Toxic Exposure: The True Story behind the Monsanto Trials and the Search for Justice, Nabhan gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into how he and other experts working for the plaintiffs’ lawyers pieced together a complicated scientific puzzle that convinced jurors of the company’s liability and the link between Roundup and NHL.
The book details what it was like for Nabhan to join the fight against Monsanto, explains how the trials affected his life’s trajectory, and highlights the struggles faced by plaintiffs suffering from cancer. The New Lede sat down with Nabhan to discuss the link between Roundup and NHL, his experiences at the trials, and what he thinks the public should know.