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Nebraska Farmers Sue Monsanto Over Herbiside Roundup

Mike Mozart, flickr Creative Commons

A group of Nebraska farmers is suing the giant seed and chemical company, Monsanto, saying the company’s herbicide, Roundup, gave them cancer.

Three Nebraska farmers and an agronomist filed the suit alleging that Roundup caused their illness and that Monsanto downplayed research showing the chemical’s cancer risk. Similar cases have been filed in California, New York, and Delaware. Monsanto says the claim is not supported by science.

Last year a panel of scientists at the World Health Organization found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, probably can cause cancer. But another panel with the WHO recently said at normal exposure levels that’s unlikely to happen.

Roundup is one of the most heavily used weedkillers in the country. Most of the corn and soybeans planted in the U.S. are genetically modified to withstand the herbicide so farmers can kill weeds but not their crop. Grant Gerlock, Harvest Public Media.

Harvest Public Media's reporter at NET News, where he started as Morning Edition host in 2008. He joined Harvest Public Media in July 2012. Grant has visited coal plants, dairy farms, horse tracks and hospitals to cover a variety of stories. Before going to Nebraska, Grant studied mass communication as a grad student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and completed his undergrad at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa where he listened to public radio in the tractor, but has taken up city life in Lincoln, Neb.