A branch of California’s state Environmental Protection Agency is adding glyphosate, a major component of Monsanto’s popular weed killer, Roundup, to its list of potentially cancer-causing chemicals identified in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The chemical is being added to the Act, which is also known as Proposition 65, because it is now associated with causing cancer, as well as birth defects and other reproductive harm.
The inclusion of glyphosate under Proposition 65 would mean that Monsanto will be required to alert customers that Roundup contains a significant amount of dangerous chemicals if the company wishes to continue to sell Roundup in the state. Monsanto would have a year to update its labeling to include the fact that the use of its product carries potentially life-threatening risk via the inclusion of the carcinogenic compound.
Fortune details how Monsanto feels that the addition of glyphosate to Prop 65, which is updated annually and includes more than 800 unsafe chemicals, is “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law.”
But California isn’t the first state to question the product’s or chemical’s safety. Six plaintiffs from around the country recently brought suit against Monsanto and Scott’s MiracleGro in Wisconsin, claiming the companies knew about the dangers of their products. By repeating “false and misleading representations throughout their marketing, including in video advertisements produced for their websites and YouTube Channel,” Monsanto and Scott’s are alleged to have willingly and continuously deceived consumers.
Evidence in the Wisconsin case implies that glyphosate helps hold “weeds and other crops at bay” but leaves consumers at great risk by interacting with and targeting a common enzyme in people and pets. The enzyme is found in what is known as “gut bacteria” and, when interfered with, can cause significant issues with the immune system, digestion, and brain function.
In addition to recent cases around the country asserting the dangers associated with using products that contain glyphosate, the World Health Organization stated as far back as 2015 that the chemical is “probably carcinogenic.”
As evidence continues to mount confirming the World Health Organization’s assertion, so should concern over using the chemical at all. Roundup is commonly used in landscaping and maintaining golf courses; orchards; vineyards; farms; and playgrounds, meaning people of all ages could unknowingly be exposed to it on a regular basis.
To date, more than 1,000 suits have already been filed against Monsanto claiming that their product causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.