Last Friday, Fresno County Superior Court Judge, Kristi Kapetan, issued a ruling requiring Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller to be labeled “as a possible carcinogen.” The ruling effectively makes California the first state to require such a thing, and it has concerned citizens and environmental activists cheering.
Before the ruling, Judge Kapetan had issued a “tentative ruling on January 27 in Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al,” but everything was finalized on Friday. Specifically, the ruling will allow California to properly abide by the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65, by listing “glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer.”
For years citizens throughout California and the rest of the country have been concerned about the safety of pesticides and chemicals being used on our crops. One of those fears has been of cancer causing agents in chemicals such as Roundup. In fact, there have been many cases over the years of average citizens being diagnosed with cancer, claiming chemicals like Roundup as the culprit. Now, Californians can rest easy in knowing that Roundup will be properly labeled from here on out. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., part of a group that represented “people from California and across the U.S. who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after Roundup (glyphosate) use,” was one of those cheering over the ruling, stating:
“Democracy is alive and well in California where judges are still willing to stand up for science, even against the most powerful corporate polluters. This decision gives Californians the right to protect themselves and their families from chemical trespass.”
But how did the ruling come about in the first place? Well, back in January of 2016, “Monsanto filed a lawsuit against the State of California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)” because of the agency’s decision to begin listing “glyphosate as a Prop 65 chemical” in light of a report from the WTO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.” Because of the WTO report, OEHHA felt the need to “warn consumers about the possible danger associated with glyphosate exposure.”
However, this didn’t sit well with Monsanto. In fact, the company argued in its lawsuit that OEHHA’s decision violated “both the California and U.S. Constitutions.” According to Monsanto’s argument, “listing glyphosate as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer cedes regulatory authority to an unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body that isn’t subject to oversight by California or the United States.”
Fortunately for citizens of California, the judge ruled in favor of the people’s health and safety over the agriculture giant.