The Center for Food Safety (CFS), on behalf of a broad coalition of farmworkers, farmers and conservationists, filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over its January 2020 reapproval of the pesticide glyphosate.
Those organizations suing EPA include CFS, Beyond Pesticides, the Rural Coalition, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas and the Farmworker Association of Florida.
On Jan. 20, 2020, EPA released an interim decision updating current glyphosate regulations. After a thorough review of the best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act, EPA concluded that there are no concerns for human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that the product is not a carcinogen.
While EPA defends glyphosate, juries in several cases have ruled in favor of those affected by exposure and put the blame for cancer on the pesticide. More than 40,000 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) by cancer victims asserting that exposure to Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including many farm workers. Plaintiffs have prevailed in the three cases decided thus far, with victims awarded roughly $80 million in each case.
"Contrary to the Trump [Administration] EPA's claims, both regulatory and independent scientific studies demonstrate that glyphosate herbicides are carcinogenic and have adverse effects on internal organs," CFS science policy analyst Bill Freese said. "Far from consulting the 'best-available science,' as EPA claims, the agency has relied almost entirely on Monsanto studies, cherry-picking the data that suits its purpose and dismissing the rest. EPA's glyphosate decision shows the same hostility to science that we've come to expect from this administration, whether the issue is climate change or environmental health."
Upon the approval in January 2020, CropLife America said it appreciated the review of a product that is an important and effective tool for farmers.
“Having been on the market for more than 40 years, glyphosate-based herbicides are some of the most extensively studied and reviewed pesticide products. Over the past four decades, regulatory scientists have reviewed hundreds of epidemiological studies, long-term animal studies and genetic toxicity studies from both pesticide companies and third-party organizations,” CropLife America chief executive officer and president Chris Novak said. “These studies have consistently upheld the safety of glyphosate.”
"EPA’s most recent assessment is fully consistent with the science-based conclusions reached by the agency and leading health regulators worldwide,” Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment president Megan Provost noted after the approval.