December 12, 2015

California takes on Monsanto over cancer

Earth We Are One - California has just dealt a blow to Monsanto as the state’s Environmental Protection Agency has decided to list glyphosate, the highly toxic main ingredient used in Roundup, as a known carcinogenic.

Under Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, the state is required to list and publish chemicals that cause birth defects, cancer, or other reproductive harm. If a chemical is found to be carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, they are required to be listed as well.

The IARC released a report, in March, that states glyphosate to be a ‘probably carcinogen.’ The report shows that the herbicide has been found to cause cancer in lab animals as well.

“Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the U.S.A., Canada, and Sweden reported increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustments to other pesticides.”

The decision of California to list glyphosate on the toxic chemicals list is the first of its kind. 

“As far as I’m aware, this is the first regulatory agency within the U.S. to determine that glyphosate is a carcinogen. So this is a very big deal,” Dr. Nathan Donley of the Center for Biological Diversity said in an email.

Monsanto was baffled from this decision to place glyphosate on the state’s list of close to 800 toxic chemicals.  Charla Lord, spokesperson for the massive company, told Agri-Pulse that “glyphosate is an effective and valuable tool for farmers and other users, including many in the state of California. During the upcoming comment period, we will provide detailed scientific information to OEHHA about the safety of glyphosate and work to ensure that any potential listing will not affect glyphosate use or sales in California.”

Roundup is used on crops all over the world, especially Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready varieties – genetically engineered to accept large doses of Roundup to allow blanket application with harm to the crops. 

WHO released its report naming glyphosate carcinogenic, it took less than a week for Monsanto to call for a retraction.  The Biotech giant still claims that Roundup is safe when used as directed.

California seems to be leading the charge against Monsanto within the states, it shouldn’t take long for other states to join in the fight.

1 comment:

k.h.brown said...

United Farm Workers have been campaigning for this for as long as I can remember. Congratulations, California!!!