For years Monsanto fought to say DDT was safe, it was a carcinogen. Then they fought to say PCBs were safe, they caused cancer too… and are still wrecking havoc to this day. Now the company is saying glyphosate is safe, and California is not buying it. Monsanto has fought consumers for over half a century saying their products are safe, only to later have the same products banned with victims dying and billions of dollars of litigation hanging over their heads. It happened before, and it is happening again. This time the people are fighting back.
Monsanto battled the State of California this week to once again protect it’s business interests in the face of public scrutiny, and they tentatively lost. California seeks to label Monsanto’s popular Roundup as possible carcinogen. Monsanto has complained about the immediate monetary impact this will have on their bottom line as glyphosate, aka Roundup, accounts for approximately 10% of the company’s annual revenue.
As reported this week by ABC, “The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, have classified the chemical as a “probable human carcinogen. 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.”
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan has tentatively ruled that California can force Monsanto to label it’s product as a potential cancer causing agent, a formal decision will come soon. Regulators in California will wait for the Judge Kapetan’s formal ruling before enforcing the measure, said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
With 10% of the nation’s population, and an agricultural behemoth, this decision may be a milestone in protecting farm workers and consumers from yet another historical tragedy in what has become Monsanto’s toxic legacy. Glyphosate is used in over 160 countries, and on over 250 types of crops in California.
Glyphosate is a cornerstone of Monsanto’s genetically modified crops forcing farmings who purchase Monsanto’s seeds to use the potentially cancer-causing pesticide. Monsanto is currently in the initial stages of merging with German chemical company Bayer.
Once the ruling is formalized and glyphosate is added to California’s list of probable carcinogen’s, Monsanto will have a year to put labeling into place.