Monsanto sues the State of California. IARC’s Glyphosate cancer classification “unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body”
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (ORHHA) has announced that will be adding Roundup to it’s state’s list of known carcinogens. A report released in 2015 by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) specified that the agency intends to list glyphosate and three other chemicals as a cancer-causing chemicals under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
Glyphosate is one of the most pervasive herbicides in use globally and its components have been genetically engineered to be included in herbicide resistant crops. A new study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released a report classifying it as a carcinogen specifying that that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on current existing laboratory studies. IARC’s classification has placed glyphosate in the “probable” carcinogen 2A group and claims that glyphosate is not safe as touted by Monsanto who sells the product as Roundup.
The IARC has highlighted that glyphosate caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells and additional epidemiologic studies have found that exposure to glyphosate is significantly associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’sLymphoma(NHL).
A new study released by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Environmental Health, El Quinto Sol de America, Californians for Pesticide Reform, the Center for Food Safety and thePesticide Action Network revealed that more than half of the commercial glyphosate sprayed in California is applied in the state’s eight most impoverished counties.
The report, titled “Lost in the Mist: How Glyphosate Use Disproportionately Threatens California’s Most Impoverished Counties”, determined that glyphosate spraying in California occurs in eight counties with a predominantly low income and minority population. Fifty-four percent of all glyphosate sprayed in California occurs in these counties.
“We’ve uncovered a disturbing trend where poor and minority communities disproportionately live in regions where glyphosate is sprayed,” said Nathan Donley, Ph.D., a staff scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “In high doses glyphosate is dangerous to people, and California can’t, in good conscience, keep allowing these communities to pay the price for our overreliance on pesticides.”
Previous studies have linked long-term exposure to glyphosate in drinking water to adverse impacts on health of liver and kidneys. A new study has emerged which has analyzed the rate of chronic disease in the United States and the corresponding use in pesticides. The research findings link the use of glyphosate to diabetes, obesity, lipoprotein metabolism disorder, Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and autism.
The study highlights the cost associated with chronic disease such as diabetes, estimated at $116 billion dollars in 2007.Estimated costs related to obesity were $147 billion in 2008 and cardiovascular diseases and stroke were $475.3 billion in 2009. Health care expenditures in the US totaled 2.2 trillion dollars in 2007.
The research consisted of searching US government databases for GE crop data, glyphosate application data and disease epidemiological data. Correlation analyses were then performed on a total of 22 diseases in these time-series data sets. The Pearson correlation coefficients obtained as a result of the study are highly significant (< 10-5) between glyphosate applications and hypertension (R = 0.923), stroke (R = 0.925), diabetes prevalence (R = 0.971), diabetes incidence (R = 0.935), obesity (R = 0.962), lipoprotein metabolism disorder (R = 0.973), Alzheimer’s (R = 0.917), senile dementia (R = 0.994), Parkinson’s (R = 0.875), multiple sclerosis (R = 0.828), autism (R = 0.989), inflammatory bowel disease (R = 0.938), intestinal infections (R = 0.974), end stage renal disease (R = 0.975), acute kidney failure (R = 0.978), cancers of the thyroid (R = 0.988), liver (R = 0.960), bladder (R = 0.981), pancreas (R = 0.918), kidney (R = 0.973) and myeloid leukaemia (R = 0.878). The Pearson correlation coefficients are highly significant (< 10-4) between the percentage of GE corn and soy planted in the US and hypertension (R = 0.961), stroke (R = 0.983), diabetes prevalence (R = 0.983), diabetes incidence (R = 0.955), obesity (R = 0.962), lipoprotein metabolism disorder (R = 0.955), Alzheimer’s (R = 0.937), Parkinson’s (R = 0.952), multiple sclerosis (R = 0.876), hepatitis C (R = 0.946), end stage renal disease (R = 0.958), acute kidney failure (R = 0.967), cancers of the thyroid (R = 0.938), liver (R = 0.911), bladder (R = 0.945), pancreas (R = 0.841), kidney (R = 0.940) and myeloid leukaemia (R = 0.889).
Monsanto filed a complaint against the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the agency’s acting director, Lauren Zeise, in California state court. The case isMonsanto Companyv. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al, case number 16-CECG-00183 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno.
“The IARC classification of glyphosate is inconsistent with the findings of regulatory bodies in the United States and around the world, and it is not a sound basis for any regulatory action,” said Phil Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of regulatory affairs.
Monsanto’s lawsuit argues that listing glyphosate under Proposition 65, as the state’s law is known, based on IARC’s classification cedes regulatory authority to an “unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body” that is not subject to oversight by any state or federal entity.