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California declares glyphosate a toxic cancer-causing chemical, effective July 7, 2017

In a win for consumer rights and safety, the OEHHA (California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) has declared that glyphosate weed killer is a known, cancer-causing carcinogen. It will be added to the state’s Proposition 65 warning list.

Proposition 65, also known as “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986,” was passed in order to protect California drinking water from toxic, cancer-causing substances and those known to cause birth defects. Glyphosate designated “probably carcinogenic” by WHO in 2015

Glyphosate weed killer is sold under numerous brand names, but the most widely used is Roundup, manufactured by the Monsanto company. The state of California is using statute CAS #107-83-6 to change the designation of the weed killer, which they say has cancer as a known endpoint for some people who are exposed to it. This designation is a blow to companies that use glyphosate in their products. Efforts to ban the substance have ramped up ever since the WHO (World Health Organization) designated it as “probably carcinogenic” in 2015. As of July 7, California retailers must add cancer warning labels to all products containing glyphosate. However, cancer warnings will as yet not be required on foods and grocery items that have been sprayed with the cancer-causing herbicide.

Keeping the public safe from glyphosate: Much more needs to be done

What’s disturbing is that even non-GMO crops like barley and wheat are being sprayed with glyphosate to speed drying times before harvest. This means that a highly-toxic herbicide is being sprayed on non-GMO crops without consumer awareness. The contaminant has been found in non-organic wheat products like bread, muffins and packaged cereal. Monsanto sued the OEHHA of California in an attempt to block the recent Proposition 65 ruling, and an appeal of the case (case #F075362 in the Fifth District Court of Appeal) is currently pending. However, as of this writing, glyphosate will be added to the Proposition 65 product ingredient warning list – since July 7, 2017.

Action against glyphosate weed killer reaching critical mass

Documents released from some of the related California lawsuits against Monsanto showed the company spent millions of dollars in attempts to discredit anti-GMO activists. In the past, high-profile scientists and science actors like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jon Entine, Keith Kloor and Bill Nye have pushed propaganda stating that GMO foods and glyphosate are safe to consume in “unlimited quantities.” However even CNN, the network most known for releasing fake news, has questioned the safety of glyphosate. They’ve reported on documented cases of its toxicity and stated that glyphosate herbicides have likely already caused thousands of cases of cancer. The mounting number of lawsuits related to glyphosate seems to be reaching a critical mass, just as the litigation against Big Tobacco did in the 1990s. It’s time for Monsanto and other companies that use harmful ingredients in their products to do the right thing.

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