California Just Announced It Will Label Monsanto’s Roundup as Cancer Causing

September 12, 2015   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
September 12, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Sacramento, CA — California just dealt Monsanto a blow as the state’s Environmental Protection Agency will now list glyphosate — the toxic main ingredient in the U.S.’ best-selling weedkiller, Roundup — as known to cause cancer.

Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 — usually referred to as Proposition 65, its original name — chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm are required to be listed and published by the state. Chemicals also end up on the list if found to be carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — a branch of the World Health Organization.

In March, the IARC released a report that found glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen.”

Besides the “convincing evidence” the herbicide can cause cancer in lab animals, the report also found:

“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.”

California’s decision to place glyphosate on the toxic chemicals list is the first of its kind. As Dr. Nathan Donley of the Center for Biological Diversity said in an email to Ecowatch, “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.”

Now that California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has filed its notice of intent to list glyphosate as a known cancer agent, the public will have until October 5th to comment. There are no restrictions on sale or use associated with the listing.

Monsanto was seemingly baffled by the decision to place cancer-causing glyphosate on the state’s list of nearly 800 toxic chemicals. Spokesperson for the massive company, Charla Lord, 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 sprayed on crops around the world, particularly with Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready varieties — genetically engineered to tolerate large doses of the herbicide to facilitate blanket application without harming crops. Controversy has surrounded this practice for years — especially since it was found farmers increased use of Roundup, rather than lessened it, as Monsanto had claimed.

Less than a week after the WHO issued its report naming glyphosate carcinogenic, Monsanto called for a retraction — and still maintains that Roundup is safe when used as directed.

On Thursday, an appeals court in Lyon, France, upheld a 2012 ruling in favor of farmer Paul Francois, who claimed he had been chemically poisoned and suffered neurological damage after inhaling Monsanto’s weedkiller, Lasso. Not surprisingly, the agrichemical giant plans to take its appeal to the highest court in France.

It’s still too early to tell whether other states will follow California’s lead.


This article (California Just Announced It Will Label Monsanto’s Roundup as Cancer Causing) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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49 Comments

  1. I hope someone in Cali figures out the difference between glyphosate and roundup as well. The adjuvants are listed as inert, but when mixing them and surfactants and what-not together – roundup is a cocktail proven to kill various human tissues.

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  2. We'll see if they're giving Monsanto a chance to fight beack before the October deadine. Somehow, Cali seems more activist and getting a little more savvy these days. Maybe it was because they witnessed the death of the electric car, and woke up a little bit. And people in Cali have woken up a bit about vaccines as well.

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  23. "Roundup" or glyphosate is now produced by a bunch of different companies with different names for that product since it went off patent. It's not just Monsanto anymore with that particular product.

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  24. Vote with you dollar. The free market will do just that.

    Also, spread the info!!!

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  25. If it's sooo safe let's have Monsato board of representatives drink a fresh glass of it ?

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  26. Does this mean bill nye the science guy is a corporate shrill ? I recently watched a special he has on gmo's. . Saying he changed his mind about them and endorsed them in fact it's on startalk radio .. wonder if he will recant his endorsement.

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  27. That would not be fair–because Monsanto is not asking ANYONE to drink a fresh glass of it. No, if you want to confront Monsanto–what is fair, is to ask if THEY will eat produce from one of their own fields. And I'll bet most of them would eat that food, without hesitation. In fact, is Giant as Monsanto is, it would be somewhat hard to even find produce from anyone else. My point: that perhaps Monsanto is dead wrong–but I don't think that proves they are collous, cause I say, their board of directors (I'm pretty sure, not positive) will eat food from their own fields.

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  28. some GMOs are fine until it destroys the natural cylcle and we blast it with herbacides and pesticides, that in turn has destroyed our oceans for our children.

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  29. Not does! Could. If you drink it, bathe in it or use way too much, yeah! You're looking down the cancer barrel but at the level we are presented with.. Could at a stretch

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  30. "During the upcoming comment period, we will provide detailed scientific information to OEHHA about the safety of glyphosate…" How does anyone trust a company doing their own safety testing? That's the quiessencial "conflcit of interests" scenary as it gets. At the root of this is the world at large does NOT trust Monsanto. They give us no reason to so, but rather more to be suspicious about.

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  31. A gas leak deep under Los Angeles has been spewing 1.6 million lbs. of methane each day, with no immediate end in sight.

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  32. The government comments here haha astroturf off. Monsanto spreads disease. Glysophates are fucking poison. Stop looking for the cure and hang those who supply the cause.

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  33. The best way to stop this scourge is to force food manufacturers to say how much of these chemicals are to be found on their products. That way, people can make their own minds up about whether they wish to get malformed children and so on.

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