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article imageMonsanto to California: Pull glyphosate from cancer-causing list

By Karen Graham     Oct 22, 2015 in Business
Sacramento - Monsanto's herbicide, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup is about to be added to California's listing of products said to be cancer-causing agents, and Monsanto is not very pleased.
In a formal comment filed with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), a department within the state's environmental regulatory office, Monsanto asked that glyphosate be stricken from its list of cancer-causing agents. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.
In the comment, Monsanto wrote that "California's actions could be considered illegal because they are not considering valid scientific evidence." Tuesday was the final day the state accepted comments about its intention to list glyphosate as a cause of cancer.
In September 2015, the OEHHA gave notice that they intended to list glyphosate under Proposition 65, an initiative enacted in 1986 that informs the public about cancer-causing chemicals. The state said the action was required because the World Health Organization's cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
Over 8,000 comments were filed regarding the listing of glyphosate in Proposition 65, including Monsanto's comments. In Monsanto's public filing, the company said adding glyphosate to the list as a cause of cancer "has the potential to deny farmers and public agencies the use of this highly effective herbicide. Global regulatory authorities... agree that glyphosate is not carcinogenic."
While Monsanto's stinging comments and rebuke of state officials were to be expected, surprisingly, many more comments were positive regarding the actions of the state. Several farming groups, health, and environmental groups sent a letter to OEHHA on Monday in support of the listing, saying the increased use of glyphosate presents a danger to people and animals.
Glyphosate was introduced in 1974, and is the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, as well as many other chemical products. It has been embraced by farmers, homeowners and the general public as an efficient way to kill weeds. It is registered in over 160 countries around the world.
However, numerous studies have been done on the impact glyphosate has on humans, animals, and the environment. A number of lawsuits have been filed in the U.S., as well as other countries, that claim Monsanto's Roundup is responsible for illnesses, including cancer. The New York-based mass-tort firm of Weitz & Luxenberg is one of several law firms handling lawsuits filed by farm workers against Monsanto, claiming the company knew of the hazards of glyphosate for decades.
More about monsanto's glyphosate, California, proposition 65, cause of cancer, Lawsuits
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