California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed killer Roundup as a carcinogen, according to a ruling by a judge in Fresno, California, although the corporation predictably sings its weary mantra that maintains that the product is "harmless," now beginning to seem like a losing battle.
It is far beyond my powers of comprehension to understand how it is that Bayer want to take on this rat's nest of liability and cancer labels by buying Monsanto for $66 billion, not even a fire sale price!
California would be the first state to order this level of labeling if this decision by the California Carcinogen Identification Committee is sustained by further court action. . Monsanto previously sued the nation's foremost agricultural producing state by filing court motions to the effect that California's carcinogen committee acting under the powers given to it by Proposition 65, had illegally based their decision for mandatory required warnings on "erroneous" findings by an international health organization based in France.
What is Roundup and what is the problem with its chief ingredient, glyphosphate?
Environmentalists, consumer protectionists, and straightforward victims of glyphosphate-caused cancers and related poisoning object to Roundup's principle ingredient, the odorless and colorless glyphosate, which was patented by Monsanto then marketed as early as 1974 to kill weeds but leave crops (apparently) intact. In 2017, it is sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 types of crops.
Trenton Norris, Monsanto's lawyer, argued in court Friday that the labels would result in irreparable and immediate negative fiscal effect for Monsanto, because millions of consumers stop buying Roundup because of the labels.
After the hearing, Monsanto responded to the ruling by threatening to challenge the ruling, about all it can do, at this point. The EPA, to date, has never issued any warnings about this pesticide or glyphosphate, nor is it any more like to do so over the next four years, given the current state of the EPA, recently suffering from hiring freezes and budget cuts, and which maybe in the process of being entirely dismantled.
The EPA has only mentioned Roundup's "low toxicity," suggesting that agricultural workers stay out of fields for 12-16 hours after Roundup has been spread onto the crops.
However, the World Health Organization has taken an entirely different tack with its solid classification of Roundup as a "probable carcinogen," after its own International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France ruled it as such. In 2015, California moved toward such a mandatory label after hearings by the Carcinogen Identification Committee, the same committee that is presently considering this kind of label on aspartame-containing products, because of the presence of methanol or wood alcohol, which is already considered a carcinogen in California.
Jack McCall was an avocado and apple farmer with only 20 acres and he carried around a backpack with Roundup for 30 years, and then died of cancer in 2015. His widow, Terri, strongly believes that any kind of warning about carcinogenicity would have prevented his entirely avoidable death. "I just don't think my husband would have taken that risk if he had known," she stated. She is one of many who are suing Monsanto about Roundup for its having caused deaths of family members' cancer who then died.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan has yet to issue a final formal decision, which she said would come soon.
Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment said that his Office will await formal final rulings before moving forward with the warnings, and that if any chemical is added to long lists of probable carcinogens, the manufacturer still has a year before it must attach the label.
Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer the "gold standard" for identifying carcinogens, and they rely on its findings along with several states, the federal government and other countries, court papers say.
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