If California makes good on the proposal, it would be the first U.S. state to require such a labeling on Roundup, the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in the history of the world.
Monsanto had filed a lawsuit against California alleging that state officials illegally based their decision to affix the warning on a March 2015 report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which concluded that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup and hundreds of other widely-used herbicides — is “probably carcinogenic.”
Monsanto said it will fight the tentative ruling and maintains that glyphosate poses absolutely no risk to humans.
The chemical giant introduced Roundup in 1974 as an effective herbicide that can kill weeds while leaving crops and plants intact. It’s sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on at least 250 types of crops.
Glyphosate is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which says that it has a “low toxicity,” and merely recommends that people wait 12 hours to enter a field after the chemical has been applied.
However, shortly after IARC’s report was published, California took the first steps to require a cancer warning on Roundup labels.
Monsanto contends that California is delegating its authority to an unelected foreign body with no accountability in the U.S., while attorneys for California consider IARC the “gold standard” for identifying carcinogens, according to court documents.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan must still issue a formal decision on the matter, which she said would come soon. Once a chemical is added to a list of probable carcinogens, the manufacturer has one year before it must attach the label.
Source: Los Angeles Times