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Monsanto is Suing California for Stating that RoundUp Causes Cancer

Monsanto Company , a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, recently filed a lawsuit against California’s Of...

Monsanto Company, a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, recently filed a lawsuit against California’s Office of Environmental and Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and its acting director, Lauren Zeise, to prevent them from listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen.

The case is recorded as Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental and Health Hazard Assessment, et. al. case number 16-CECG-00183 and was filed at the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno.

Glyphosate is a main ingredient in RoundUp, an herbicide marketed by Monsanto which is widely used by famers and gardeners around the world.

Since California law requires the state to inform the public of cancer-causing chemicals, OEHHA, acting on the 2015 glyphosate review from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has issued plans of adding glyphosate to its list. [1]

Image © Tom Grundy – Shutterstock.com

Once glyphosate is included in the list of cancer-causing chemicals, Monsanto would be required to provide a “clear and reasonable warning” to consumers that the chemical is carcinogenic.

Doing so would cause a great damage to their company’s reputation, and a likely decline in the patronage of their well-known herbicide.

Does Glyphosate Really Cause Cancer?

In an electronic conference with EcoWatch, Dr. Nathan Donley from the Center for Biological Diversity said that the Monsanto lawsuit is absurd. “Why would California use anything other than the gold standard to inform its public health decisions?” [2]

Last March 2015, the IARC classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen”, based on reviews from 1000 scientific studies, including those showing it carcinogenic to animals. [3]

One would have thought that this report from the authoritative IARC would be sufficient. However, Monsanto firmly opposes this statement, saying that “probable” doesn’t mean that glyphosate causes cancer, stating that even at 100 times exposure, glyphosate is not a human health risk.

“The IARC classification of glyphosate is inconsistent with the findings of regulatory bodies in the United States and around the world, and it is not a sound basis for any regulatory action,” said Phil Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of regulatory affairs. [1]

They cited numerous reviews about the safety of glyphosate, such as those from the US EPA, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, and the Argentine Interdisciplinary Scientific Council. [4]

Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House?

However, here’s where it gets shady: Reports have shown that the EPA used Monsanto’s studies when giving Glyphosate a pass. Twenty-seven out of 32 studies that looked at glyphosate’s effect on hormones were reported by The Intercept to have been either conducted or funded by the pesticide industry. [5]

It’s clearly obvious that safety reviews in a situation like this should be independent and not those created the the industry that one is attempting to regulate. We also know full well that corporations will do whatever they can to keep their products legal, especially when there is a huge amount of money at stake.

There are problems for glyphosate in other places, too: In Europe recently, glyphosate’s license extension failed to receive support from the European Union members states. [6]

Source: Herbs-Info.com / References:

[1] Plume, K. 2016. Monsanto Sues to Keep Herbicide Off California List of Carcinogens Reuters.com
[2] Chow, L. 2016. Monsanto Files Lawsuit to Stop California from Listing Glyphosate as Known Carcinogen EcoWatch.com
[3] Q & A on Glyphosate https://www.iarc.fr
[4] Does Glyphosate (Roundup) Cause Cancer? Monsanto.com
[5] “EPA Used Monsanto’s Research To Give Roundup A Pass TheIntercept.com
[6] “Great Glyphosate Rebellion Continues as Europe Refuses Temporary License Extension” OrganicConsumers.org

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