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The On-Going Battle Against Glyphosate
California is Receiving Pushback from Monsanto over the New Glyphosate Warning Labels

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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many weed killing products found around the world.


On June 26, 2017, the state of California announced that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, must be listed as a carcinogen, and that any product containing glyphosate must have a cancer warning label by July 2018.

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment made the decision to add glyphosate to the list of cancerous substances after a study, conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, concluded that, "The evidence for genotoxicity caused by glyphosate-based formulations is strong."

This new classification places glyphosate under California's Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, which was enacted in 1986. Proposition 65 was made in order to inform Californians about harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other bodily harm. Within this category, glyphosate will accompany other cancerous chemicals on the list such as: asbestos, diesel engine exhaust, lead, and mustard gas. (A complete list is available on oehha.ca.gov.)

Following this decision, Monsanto Co. and U.S. farm groups filed a lawsuit against California, stating that there is not enough conclusive evidence to place glyphosate on the list of harmful chemicals. Furthermore, Monsanto argues that the use of glyphosate in their products is actually beneficial, as it has "helped farmers adopt what is called "conservation tillage," which allows farmers to drive their tractors less, subsequently reducing soil erosion. The Monsanto website claims that "conservation tillage can reduce soil erosion by up to 90 percent and, in 2014 alone, reduced carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to removing nearly 2 million cars from the road."

Gordon Stoner, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said in a statement that this decision "would result in higher food costs, crushing blows to state and agricultural economies and lost revenue up and down the entire supply chain."

At this moment, there is no consensual agreement between Monsanto Co. and the State of California regarding the warning labels. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the case National Association of Wheat Growers et al v. Lauren Zeise, director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.







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December 13, 2017, 8:26 pm PST

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Last Updated 12-11-17
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