Glyphosate a Carcinogen? Monsanto Sues California to Prove Otherwise

Monsanto just filed a lawsuit against California to try prevent the state from listing glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient), as a carcinogen.

Monsanto sued the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) on Thursday in Fresno County Court, seeking an injunction to stop it from glyphosate to the state’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Glyphosate Carcinogenic - Monsanto v. California Lawsuit

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the world’s most popular herbicide — is it carcinogenic to humans or isn’t it? Click the pic for original photo at:

Last September, California’s OEHHA announced that it would add glyphosate to the Prop. 65 list, in light of a report released last March by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  That report classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, and it also kicked off a whole new research sequence for the GMO Controversy Documentary over at The Walk a Mile Project (you can see that Glyphosate Risk sequence here, and GMO TRUTH Podcast #9, releasing in February, will shed even more light on this subject).

Per the OEHHA —

California law requires certain substances identified by IARC to be listed as carcinogenic, the OEHHA said.

But Monsanto insists that the body of research pointing to the safety of glyphosate is both extensive and uncontroversial, noting that the OEHHA itself evaluated glyphosate twice before, in 1997 and in 2007, both times concluding the substance was unlikely to pose a cancer hazard to humans.

In relying on IARC’s conclusion that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, OEHHA overruled its own conclusion and “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 says in its complaint.

They don’t mention in this statement that Lauren Zeise, OEHHA’s acting director, whose office I spoke with briefly during research for Walk a Mile, actually served on the IARC panel.  That little nugget of information somewhat undercuts the “ad hoc commitee of an unelected, foreign body” dig, since Americans serve on the committee as well.

Monsanto is indeed sending some lawsuit love Lauren’s way, however, as she is named in the suit as well.  Curious that Lauren is not mentioned in what we would expect to be the less biased resource,, but her name is brought up in the coverage over at EcoWatch.  We’ve included both links below if you’d like to see a great example of how two different news sources handle the same story. definitely gives an edge to Monsanto, while of course EcoWatch goes the other way.

Finally, I’d like to share with you my favorite Monsanto tidbit, this quote from the article —

Monsanto says the members of IARC were hand-picked, conducted their assessment in a non-transparent process, and selectively included and interpreted only a subset of the data available on glyphosate.

Considering I’ve seen these same types of actions during my own research into Monsanto’s dealings with the EPA (clearly seen in archived EPA documents), and on this exact issue no less, that’s a serious case of “the pot calling the kettle black”.  Monsanto has a knack for calling in their own “experts” when they don’t like what a regulatory agency is telling them.  More on this when GMO TRUTH #9 releases next month, but we’re keeping a close eye on how this situation develops.  It’s no secret how important glyphosate safety is to Monsanto’s stake in the GMO controversy.

Read more on the lawsuit at the two links below —

Author: gmocontroversy

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