A coalition of a dozen national and Midwestern agricultural groups sued Wednesday to try to overturn a California decision that could result in labels warning that the popular weed killer Roundup can cause cancer.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Sacramento seeks an injunction barring California from enforcing what the suit describes as a “false” and “misleading” warning. It alleges that the state’s decision violates constitutional due process and free speech rights and should be superseded by federal regulations.
Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has been used widely since 1974 as a means of killing unwanted weeds while leaving crops and other plants alive.
But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, based in Lyon, France, has classified it as “a probable human carcinogen.” That prompted the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to add glyphosate this summer to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The listing could eventually lead to a requirement for warning labels on the product.
Photo: Mike Mozart under CC 2.0