Monsanto is bad. In an age where facts and truth are ambiguous, a clearer thought has never crossed my mind. Monsanto might even be one of the most depraved organizations in American history; at least top ten. But Monsanto keeps winning because corrupt government officials keep working with the company to hide just how toxic one of its top-selling products is (among other things). Yeah, we’re talking about Roundup.
Given that Monsanto has its biologically engineered hands in practically everything to do with American agriculture, it’s rare to see any institution — let alone an entire state — take on the giant. But California just did it. On Wednesday, the state’s Environmental Health Hazard Assessment listed Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, as cancer causing.
Glyphosate probably causes cancer. And Monsanto knows it. The official who lead the EPA’s investigation into whether Roundup caused cancer literally bragged that he “should get a medal” for killing the administration’s inquiry during a call with the company. Right now at least 800 people are suing Monsanto after allegedly contracting non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from the pesticide, according to CNN.
California’s decision to list glyphosate as cancer-causing comes from an independent analysis published by the International Agency for Cancer Research. Its findings said that the pesticide is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Despite Monsanto’s best effort to fight California’s labeling, the state’s Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by the company to halt glyphosate’s classification. As of July 7, the chemical will be categorized as “known to the state to cause cancer.”
Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co’s popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.
Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law.” The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is “probably carcinogenic” in a controversial ruling in 2015.
Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto’s next generation of biotech crops, is under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state’s plant board voted last week to ban the chemical.
OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate under Proposition 65 will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court and after requests for stay were denied by a state appellate court and the California’s Supreme Court.
Monsanto’s appeal of the trial court’s ruling is pending.
“This is not the final step in the process, and it has no bearing on the merits of the case. We will continue to aggressively challenge this improper decision,” Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, said.
Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65 would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Warnings would also be required if glyphosate is being sprayed at levels deemed unsafe by regulators.
Users of the chemical include landscapers, golf courses, orchards, vineyards and farms.
Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.
Monsanto has not calculated the cost of any re-labeling effort and does not break out glyphosate sales data by state, Partridge said.
Environmental groups cheered OEHHA’s move to list the chemical.
“California’s decision makes it the national leader in protecting people from cancer-causing pesticides,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.