In the face of increasing concerns about cancer risks, the state of California is considering taking actions against Roundup Weed Killer. The state’s health officials have indicated that they may require the company to provide warnings about its product’s dangers making it clear that the herbicide is one of many chemicals on California’s list of chemicals that cause cancer.
The state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) made the decision to add Roundup Weed Killer to its list of carcinogenic chemicals. This is a requirement under a state law called Proposition 65, which “requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Despite the state’s assertion and the findings of many other researchers, Roundup Weed Killer’s manufacturer, Monsanto, argues that there are no dangers presented by their product.
California Joins International Agency in Concerns Over Roundup Weed Killer
The state of California’s health administration was moved to action following the addition of Roundup Weed Killer to a list provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. That organization has indicated that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” There are over 80 reported cases of people who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who are filing a lawsuit against Monsanto in the belief that their product caused their illness.
In response to the California office adding Roundup to its list of carcinogens, Monsanto filed suit. This week the California Supreme Court indicated that no stay would be issued against the product being added. It remains to be seen whether the company will have to add a label or warning to its product, as there is a threshold for the amount of risk that’s required for labeling to be considered necessary. The state’s law says “a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless the exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Sam Delson, deputy director of OEHHA says his agency is in the process of trying to determine the answer to that question. If the risk level is not high enough to warrant a label on the product, there may instead be a sign posed where the product is displayed in stores.