PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The safety of the weed killer Roundup is being questioned again with a new lawsuit from a former NFL player. Roundup contains a chemical that has been linked to cancer and the company that makes the weed killer stands by its safety.
There’s a lot of disagreement among researchers about whether or not it’s dangerous to human health, which is what the latest lawsuit claims.
The science on the popular weed killer Roundup is being hotly debated as lawsuits continue to mount from people claiming it caused cancer.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Merril Hoge says he used Roundup a lot in the late 1970s. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in 2003 and was declared cancer-free five years later.
Hoge says he he only recently realized his diagnosis could be related to the weed killer.
“I’ve been using Roundup forever. I didn’t wear gloves. We weren’t told to wear gloves or a mask,” Hoge said.
Hoge is now suing Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer, claiming Roundup caused him life-threatening cancer, permanent injuries, physical pain and mental anguish.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Roundup’s active ingredient Glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.
Hoge is one of more than 18,000 plaintiffs who allege exposure to Glyphosate caused cancer or other injuries.
Bayer has lost three court case with damages totaling more than $190 million.
In a statement, Bayer says: “We have great sympathy for any individual with cancer, but the extensive body of science on Glyphosate-based herbicides over four decades supports the conclusion that Roundup does not cause Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
The Environmental Protection Agency says the chemical posed no risks of concern for people exposed to it.
Even though Hoge is now cancer free, he says the lawsuit is about more than just him.
“I am about how we make things better for our kids and if I know that something is being done wrong and absolutely harmful to our kids and we can change it, then I’m going to try to change it,” Hoge said.
Hoge says he still lives with the fear that his cancer could return or that he could still face delayed side effects from the years of treatment.