CA Court: State of CA cleared to label Monsanto’s Glyphosate a carcinogen
This is a story that is relevant to: (1) the need for government regulation, specifically because big business does NOT normally act in the public interest and the “market” is not a protection. (2) the scary things we can expect with Trump Administration’s EPA (malign neglect at the very best) — the second story of collusion, below, was under Obama’s EPA, whose purpose was at least nominally encouraged. And (3) the risks in rushing genetic-engineering products to market. With direct gene-editing/writing technology now being commercialized, this debate is coming hard and fast.
1. CA Court rules against Monsanto. CA to list glyphosate (Roundup) as carcinogen (“probable” carcinogen per WHO). For years Monsanto has publicly insisted it is completely safe, and the substance now universal in domestic agriculture.
A California judge has ruled against Monsanto Co. in its attempt to prevent the main ingredient in the company’s Roundup herbicide products from being added to a state list of cancer-causing chemicals.
Separately, Creve Coeur-based Monsanto was accused in a court filing unsealed Tuesday of ghostwriting scientific papers that led an EPA regulator to conclude glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, shouldn’t be classified as a carcinogen, Bloomberg reported.
2. Monsanto emails revealed in court show Monsanto attempted to influence EPA’s deliberations to protect its product
The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into the herbicide’s key chemical.
The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S. accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
3. Meanwhile, nature strikes back as well, with glyphosate resistant weeds now increasingly common, chipping away at Roundup’s commercial case as well.
Monsanto argues that the increase in glyphosate use is good because the company’s flagship pesticide has displaced other more-toxic herbicides. But its overuse has directly fueled the escalating resistance in weeds, which has spurred many growers to once again start using the older herbicides in addition to glyphosate.
With six different species of glyphosate resistant weeds now identified in California, growers here are being urged by Monsanto to apply both glyphosate and some of the older, more-toxic herbicides at the same time.
Story via, yes, ZeroHedge. (disclaimer- has no filter, has become primarily right-wing in recent years. I hesitate to link it, but nevertheless has a useful function in the news ecosystem, and is willing to promote (b)leading-edge stories which sometimes don’t see the light of day any other way. As I think I mentioned before, right-wing conspiracy theory types (both for and against whatever issue) are the most motivated researchers of fringe news. Including, ironically, stories vital to the more serious left.) In this case, Trump’s battle against the EPA may in a weird twist figure into the promotion of this story at ZH.