As awareness grows concerning a possible link between exposure to the weed killer Roundup and cancer, California is poising itself to be the first state in the country to require labeling advising of the public of its carcinogenic nature.
The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL-EPA) has published a “notice of intent”, advising companies and consumers that it has determined the herbicide glyphosphate to be a cancer-causing agent. The OEHHA came to its decision after reviewing findings made by the Word Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March about the hazards presented Roundup.
Roundup remains one of the most widely used chemical herbicides since its introduction in the 1970s by Monsanto. According to the OEHHA, the data collected by the IARC satisfies California’s criteria for state-wide labeling requirements for carcinogens. The actions taken by however will not limit the sale or distribution of Roundup, only that Monsanto would required to amend the current label to include “clear and reasonable” health warnings to Roundup products.
Monsanto maintains that the findings of the IARC are the outcome of “agenda-driven junk science” , and that it is initiating its own inquiries into the safety of Roundup.
The US Environmental Protection Agency announced in April that it would consider the safety concerns of Roundup in an upcoming hearing.