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Judge rules California can place cancer warning on RoundupJudge rules California can place cancer warning on Roundup

Monsanto said it will continue to challenge proposed ruling "on the basis of science and the law."

Jacqui Fatka

January 31, 2017

2 Min Read
Judge rules California can place cancer warning on Roundup

A Fresno County, Cal., judge has said California can require Monsanto to label its Roundup as a possible cancer threat, which would allow California to be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.

California looked to include Roundup as part of its Proposition 65 listing after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – a branch of the U.N. World Health Organization – classified the chemical as a “probably human carcinogen.”

Prop 65 requires the state to maintain a “list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.”

“Regulators around the world, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and the state of California itself, have determined that glyphosate does not cause cancer,” said Charla Lord, a spokesman for Monsanto. “The agency’s flawed and baseless proposal to list glyphosate under Proposition 65 not only contradicts California’s own scientific assessment, but it also violates the California and U.S. constitutions.”

Monsanto said the IARC classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015 was “flawed.” In 2007, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment - the very agency that now proposes to list glyphosate under Prop 65 - conducted its own scientific assessment of glyphosate and found: “Based on the weight of the evidence, glyphosate is judged unlikely to pose a cancer hazard to humans.”

California regulators are waiting for the formal ruling before moving forward with the warnings, reports indicated.

Monsanto filed a lawsuit in January 2016 against the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in the Fresno Superior Court to prevent the listing of glyphosate under California’s Prop 65.

Monsanto challenged that the listing would violate the California and U.S. constitutions because the state would be ceding the basis of its regulatory authority to an un-elected and non-transparent foreign body that is not under the oversight or control of any federal or state government entity.

Lord added, “Monsanto will continue to challenge this unfounded proposed ruling on the basis of science and the law.”

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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