Former ESPN analyst Merril Hoge sues makers of Roundup, claims weed killer caused his cancer

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WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 28:  Retired National Football League player Merril Hoge testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Capitol Hill October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. A recent NFL study of retired players suggested that N.F.L. retirees ages 60 to 89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate. Merril nearly died in 1994 after suffering a series of concussions.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Merril Hoge was a major presence in ESPN's NFL coverage for two decades, until the company laid him off in 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former ESPN analyst Merril Hoge is joining the thousands of people who have sued agricultural giant Monsanto over its popular weed killer Roundup, according to CNN.

The eight-year NFL veteran is alleging that his exposure to Roundup as a boy while working on a farm eventually caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003. While Hoge survived the ordeal, he reportedly alleged he was left with permanent “physical pain and mental anguish."

The suit was reportedly filed in a U.S. District Court in Idaho, with Hoge accusing the company of promoting false statements about the safety of Roundup.

Monsanto, acquired last year by pharmaceutical giant Bayer, is currently facing upward of 18,000 plaintiffs over its flagship weed killer, per CNN. The legal result of that probably won’t be cheap, as one California couple was awarded $87 million in punitive and compensatory damages after it was determined that Roundup played a “a substantial factor” in their non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the same cancer as Hoge.

In Hoge’s lawsuit, he reportedly says he mixed and sprayed Roundup on crops as part of his job while following all safety warnings.

Bayer and Monsanto have disputed the idea that Roundup is dangerous, and did the same in response to Hoge’s lawsuit.

"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 NHL," Bayer said in a statement released to CNN.

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