Monsanto takes legal action to prevent 'flawed' listing of glyphosate under California's Prop 65

Monsanto Company is taking legal action to prevent a "flawed" listing of the herbicide glyphosate under California's Proposition 65 (Prop 65), which requires the state to maintain a "list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer".

The US EPA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have said the chemical does not cause cancer, Monsanto pointed out.  

The listing would violate the California and US Constitutions because the state would be ceding the basis of its regulatory authority to an unelected and non-transparent foreign body that is not under the oversight or control of any federal or state government entity, Monsanto added. 

Monsanto filed the suit against California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) today in California’s Fresno Superior Court.   

The company said: "These evaluations represent only one part of the body of information on which public health decisions may be based. … Therefore, no recommendation is given with regard to regulation or legislation, which are the responsibility of individual governments or other international organiaations."

Monsanto vice president of regulatory affairs Phil Miller said: "Glyphosate does not cause cancer, so listing glyphosate under California’s Prop 65 is not warranted scientifically and would cause unwarranted concern for consumers. Based on the overwhelming weight of evidence, regulatory agencies have concluded for more than 40 years that glyphosate can be used safely.  The conclusion from the IARC meeting in France was erroneous, non-transparent and based on selectively interpreted data.  We are bringing this challenge forward because this intention to list is contrary to science."

The US EPA chemical reveiew manager Carissa Cryan said in 2015: "Our review concluded that this body of research does not provide evidence to show that glyphosate causes cancer, and it does not warrant any change in EPA’s cancer classification for glyphosate." 

EFSA said last year: "Glyphosate did not present genotoxic potential and no evidence of carcinogenicity was observed in rats or mice." 

But IARC has concluded glyphosate is a cancer risk, which Monsanto disputes as they "conducted their assessment in a non-transparent process that is not accountable to the laws or governments of the United States or the State of California.  Unlike regulatory risk assessments, the IARC classification process followed non-standard procedures and selectively included and interpreted only a subset of the data actually available on glyphosate." 

Miller said: "The IARC classification of glyphosate is inconsistent with the findings of regulatory bodies in the United States and around the world, and it is not a sound basis for any regulatory action. Glyphosate is an efficient, effective and safe tool for weed control in fields, along roadways and in other environments.  We urge the state of California to uphold its own science-based conclusion about glyphosate reached in 2007 and the conclusions of the U.S. EPA and all other pesticide regulators."

 See http://www.monsanto.com/files/documents/monvoehha.pdf


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