It’s been several years in the works, but as of tomorrow, July 7th, California will officially list the top-selling herbicide, glyphosate, best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, as a carcinogen under the state’s cancer-warning law known as Proposition 65.
Prop 65 requires companies selling products that include chemicals linked to cancer to post blatant warning labels alerting consumers to the health risks – risks Monsanto says in this case are “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law.”
The agrochemical and seed company vows to continue its fight against the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which oversees the enforcement of the Prop 65 regulation.
Monsanto has been fighting the state since its 2015 decision to list glyphosate under Prop 65.
“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 in a statement.
Companies using glyphosate will have one year from tomorrow to update product packaging to reflect the regulations. The warning labels would also need to be posted in areas where the chemical is being sprayed, such as farms and public parks.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, based on numerous studies. The ruling led to hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto by farmers claiming it caused their cancer.
Glyphosate is most commonly used on genetically engineered crops, such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds engineered to withstand heavy applications of the herbicide. But weeds targeted by the herbicide have begun showing signs of resistance in recent years, leading chemical companies to reformulate with the inclusion of stronger herbicides such as dicamba or 2.4-D.
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