HealthDay News — Warning labels for the suspected cancer-causing weed killer glyphosate (Roundup) will not be approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer says glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” which has led California to require warning labels on glyphosate products, the Associated Press reported. However, California has not enforced the warning label rule because Roundup maker Monsanto last year sued and a judge issued a court order blocking the warning labels until the lawsuit is resolved. The EPA says its research shows the chemical poses no risks to public health and will not approve warning labels for glyphosate products. The EPA considers labels warning glyphosate causes cancer to “constitute a false and misleading statement,” which is prohibited by federal law, Michael Goodis, director of the agency’s registration division in its Office of Pesticide Programs, said in letters to companies explaining the EPA’s stance.
It is unusual for the EPA to tell a state it cannot go beyond the federal requirements, according to Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s a little bit sad the EPA is the biggest cheerleader and defender of glyphosate,” Hartl told the AP.
Glyphosate-related lawsuits involving about 13,000 plaintiffs are pending against Monsanto. Juries have awarded damages in each of three cases that went to trial in California. Chandra Lord, speaking for Monsanto’s parent company Bayer AG, said the EPA’s announcement “is fully consistent with the science-based conclusions reached by the agency and leading health regulators worldwide for more than four decades. Glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”