A California judge has ruled against Monsanto and its lawsuit to keep state regulators from labeling the popular weed killer Roundup as a cancer threat.
St. Louis-based seed giant Monsanto filed a lawsuit in January 2016 to prevent the chemical glyphosate from being added to California’s legally mandated list of known carcinogens. But Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan effectively blocked those efforts in her tentative ruling issued Friday.
Monsanto, which has long argued on behalf of glyphosate’s safety, claims California wrongfully based its decision to label the herbicide ingredient as a cancer threat from the warnings of a foreign health organization. Doing so, Monsanto claims, also ignores past U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that determine glyphosate likely does not cause cancer.
Glyphosate has been used in agriculture for more than 40 years. It is now one of the most widely used weed killers in the world and sold in more than 160 countries, according to corporate statistics.
Monsanto will reportedly challenge the tentative ruling.
California Citrus Mutual, Western Plant Health Association, Western Agricultural Processors Associations, California Grain and Feed Association, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations and Almond Alliance of California have all intervened in support of Monsanto.
The California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) denies that it ever ceded any authority to the International Agency for Research on Cancer when it moved to list glyphosate as a carcinogen. Nonetheless, OEHHA said that the international agency’s scientific determinations are “the gold standard in carcinogen identification.”
Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, The Center for Food Safety and Canadian Labor Congress are among the groups that have supported California’s bid to label Roundup’s glyphosate as a cancer threat.
The Associated Press reported that Judge Kapetan will soon issue a formal decision.