It was reported on the EcoWatch website on 27th January 2016 that Monsanto was suing California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) after it gave notice of plans to add glyphosate to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer, making it the first state in the United States to do so. The state agency’s decision came after the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, declared that glyphosate was a “possible carcinogen” in March 2015.
Monsanto’s response cited a 2007 study by OEHHA that concluded the chemical was unlikely to cause cancer. The company had long maintained the safety of their flagship product and had vehemently denied glyphosate’s link to cancer. The agribusiness giant had also demanded a retraction of the IARC’s report.
“Monsanto’s decision to sue California and attack the most well-respected cancer research agency in the world, the IARC, is absurd,” Dr. Nathan Donley, scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told EcoWatch via email. “Why would California use anything other than the gold standard to inform its public health decisions?”
Roundup, which had generated Monsanto $4.8 billion in 2015 revenue, was the world’s most popular herbicide, the article said. The chemical was applied onto “Roundup Ready” crops that had been genetically modified to resist applications of the spray.
In September 2015, two separate U.S. agricultural workers issued Monsanto with lawsuits, alleging that the company had caused their cancers. They also argued that the company “falsified data” and “led a prolonged campaign of misinformation” to convince the public, farm workers and government agencies about the safety of the Roundup.
Monsanto Files Lawsuit to Stop California From Listing Glyphosate as Known Carcinogen (22 January 20