Roundup Maker, Monsanto Sues California Environmental Protection Agency

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Despite The World Health Organization’s announcement last year that, glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup’s weed killer, is probably carcinogenic to humans, Monsanto, has filed suit against the State of California’s EPA to prevent the agency from following the WHO recommended classification.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm that has spent many years fighting for the rights of victims injured by toxic exposure, is commenting on a lawsuit brought by agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsanto, against a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over glysophate, one of the ingredients in its weed killer, Roundup. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer group, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) made an announcement on March 20, 2015 that glysophate is now classified as probably carcinogenic to humans. The case is Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment et al., case number 16-CECG-00183, in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Fresno.

The agency made its classification from “possible” to “probable,” a stronger designation, based on research of glyphosate exposure since 2001 in the United States, Canada, and Sweden. WHO also pointed out that there is evidence that glyphosate may be cancer causing to individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. The IARC noted that the EPA approved increased glyphosate tolerance levels in 2013. Meanwhile, glyphosate has been detected in food, water, and air following spraying, the report indicated.

“We are very concerned about the ‘probable’ cancer causing nature of Monsanto’s Roundup and continue to investigate cases,” said Matthew J. McCauley, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman.

Parker Waichman notes that exposure to Roundup herbicide may occur in crop workers, Roundup sprayer application workers, workers exposed to benches and other woods found in large home improvement stores, workers in smaller nurseries, and farm stand workers. Monsanto’s Roundup is the most popular herbicide, worldwide, and has been sold since the 1970s. An herbicide is a type of weed killer and pesticide.

The IARC also noted, in part that, “Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate.”

Now, Monsanto is suing to oppose the cancer designation in California claiming that the EPA “blindly” followed the WHO panel’s designation that proposes to list glysophate as a known carcinogen, according to a January 21, 2016 Law360 report. Monsanto argued that the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment had quashed its right to due process when the agency attempted to list glyphosate as known to California to cause cancer under California’s Proposition 65. Monsanto challenged the legal mechanism connected to the proposed listing, indicating that the move was “virtually automatic” following IARC’s finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic. “OEHHA effectively elevated the determination of an ad hoc committee of an unelected, foreign body, which answers to no United States official (let alone any California state official), over the conclusions of its own scientific experts,” Monsanto argued, alleging that the portion of California’s Labor Code citing IARC’s findings is a basis for Proposition 65 listings and is in violation of the California and United States Constitutions.

Proposition 65 was passed in 1986 and created a statute meant to ensure pollutants that cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm are kept out drinking water supplies. The law also mandates businesses post a warning when their operations or their products will expose people to chemicals on the state’s list and provides several ways in which a substance may be added, noted Law360. Meanwhile, a farmer in Hawaii and a former California field worker cited the IARC’s findings in lawsuits that allege Roundup caused their cancers; Monsanto has moved to dismiss these cases.

“Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been injured due to environment hazards,” Mr. McCauley added. “We will continue to monitor emerging research and legal activity concerning herbicide exposure and its potential side effects.”

Parker Waichman LLP is currently offering free legal consultations to victims of toxic exposure to Roundup. For those who suffered a serious complication, including Parkinson’s disease or cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma, after being exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup, please contact the firm by visiting its Monsanto’s Roundup page at Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Release ID: 102129