California To Label Glyphosate As Cancer Causing

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. And soon it will be considered a cancer-causing chemical in California.

As the saying puts it, as California goes, so goes the nation, and California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) intends to list glyphosate as known to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). According to the OEHHA’s notice, glyphosate meets the requirements for being listed as known to the state to cause cancer. 

Read more about the scary effects of Roundup exposure

Passed in 1986 by California voters, Prop 65 requires a number of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm to be listed. The list must be updated at least once a year. Since first being published in 1987 it has grown to 800 chemicals. The Prop 65 program is administered by OEHHA, which evaluates the current scientific information on chemicals.

Adding glyphosate to the state’s list of cancer causing chemicals is “an important step toward protecting people and wildlife from this toxic pesticide," said Dr. Nathan Donley, staff scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

"As far as I'm aware, this is the first regulatory agency in the U.S. to determine that glyphosate is a carcinogen," Donely said in an email to Ecowatch. "So this is a very big deal."

Listing glyphosate on California’s list of known carcinogen has the potential to reduce the use of Roundup. The Environmental Working Group states, “This could significantly curb the weed killer’s use – not just in California but nationwide.” But there’s a caveat, the environmental advocacy group warns: “Expect Monsanto to wage a fierce fight against the proposed regulation.”

Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, categorized glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.”

Read more about glyphosate contamination in breastmilk

In 2012, American growers sprayed 280 million pounds of glyphosate on crops, amounting to almost a pound of the herbicide for every American. Glyphsate use has increased in the U.S. since the mid-1990s, when certain genetically modified crops were introduced. Since that time, use of glyphosate on crops has increased 16-fold.

The agency is receiving comments about glyphosate being listed under Prop 65 until October 5. 

Image via United Soybean Board

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman| September 18, 2015
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer armed with a passion for healthy living and a degree in journalism. Hailing from the dry, sunny Central San Joaquin Valley, she hasn't let the heat fry her brain!

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