Monsanto Sues California Over Prop 65 Cancer Warning on Glyphosate Weedkiller

Monsanto, the leading herbicide and genetically modified seed producer, says the state of California is wrong about the safety of glyphosate, the main ingredient in its best-selling herbicide, Roundup. As the state moves to list the chemical as a cancer-causing agent under Prop 65, Monsanto has filed a lawsuit intended to stop it.

In the spring of 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer cited glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. The announcement led California legislators to push for adding Roundup to Prop 65 last September, which would require the cancer-causing products to be labeled wherever it’s sold in the state with a warning that the product has been linked to cancer.

Read more about other lawsuits related to Roundup

Reuters says Monsanto lawyers filed a lawsuit yesterday against the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and its director, Lauren Zeise. 

"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," Phil Miller, Monsanto's vice president of regulatory affairs, told Reuters.

Monsanto claims that forcing glyphosate onto Prop 65 violates the company’s right to “to procedural due process under California and U.S. law,” Reuters explains. The company says the warning labels would not only damage the company’s reputation, but that forcing Monsanto to abide by the Prop 65 ruling would be a direct violation of the company’s First Amendment rights.

Five reasons to avoid Monsanto's Roundup

Roundup is one of the best-selling herbicides in the world. It’s primarily used on genetically modified seeds like corn and soy, which have been engineered to resist heavy applications of the weed killer.

“Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies,” says Pamela Coleman, PhD and Farm and Food Policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute.

Resistance to glyphosate is on the rise creating “superweeds” that require heavier doses of the herbicide. Companies including Monsanto have been formulating and patenting combination herbicides with other controversial herbicides such as dicamba, and 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, the Vietnam War defoliant linked to serious health issues.

[Editor's Note: If you want to eliminate unhealthy ingredients and chemical additives from your diet for good, click here to sign up for a Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenge.]

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By Jill Ettinger| January 22, 2016
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.

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