The Monsanto Company has long defended its controversial herbicide Roundup, its flagship product, but public opinion has been swayed heavily against it in the recent months for various reasons.
Beginning in 2015 when the World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to be a “probable human carcinogen,” the company’s dealings have been under the microscope.
That led to the uncovering of a scandal involving a former high-ranking EPA employee Jess Rowland, who reportedly boasted “if I can kill this, I should get a medal” to Monsanto Executive Dan Jenkins over his role in squashing a new study aimed at testing the potentially harmful effects of the chemical.
With so much controversy and scrutiny surrounding glyphosate, Roundup is in the crosshairs. Now, its main ingredient appears headed to California’s infamous Prop 65 list of cancer-causing substances.
Glyohosate to Join Prop 65 List
That means that as long as Monsanto is unable to somehow block the move, the Roundup product will be forced to carry a label titled ‘California Proposition 65 warning’ stating that it “contains chemicals known by the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
The article added that the body assigned with making the Proposition 65 determinations, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (one of six organizations under the umbrella of the umbrella of the California Environmental Protection Agency) is now working on determining a “safe harbor” level for glyohosate that it will finalize prior to the administering of the Prop 65 “cancer causing” label on Monsanto’s products.
In total more than 10 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed across California on everything from baseball fields to golf courses and even school grounds, the New York Times reported in this article citing official government statistics. Monsanto also genetically engineers crops including corn, soy, canola, cotton, and sugar beets as “Roundup Ready” GMOs to be sprayed en masse with the herbicide, which are grown in California despite the state’s growing organic and non-GMO food industry.
The article added that the California labeling would be the first of its kind done by a United States regulatory body.
Across the state, several local battles have been won to halt the use of Roundup and glyphosate related chemical sprayings, including in Irvine, Burbank and Glendale as more and more parents and grassroots activists have begun opposing the chemical.
Monsanto has said that glyphosate is safe based on scientific data, while critics point out episodes like the Rowland situation as evidence that the playing field is not exactly level, and say that independent science is being suppressed.
For more information, check out the Times article by clicking here.