On August 8, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release stating glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” According to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, quoted in the press release, “EPA knows the product does not pose a cancer risk.”
Rebuff to Developments in California
In the past year, juries in California have returned large verdicts in cases claiming Roundup caused Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer. (See Alert 8/20/18) Also, the State of California has attempted to require Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides to include a warning that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” EPA characterized the labeling sought by California as “false labeling” and “misleading;” EPA’s press release notes a federal court issued an injunction stopping California from enforcing this labeling requirement.
EPA Says It Used Better Science
The press release also refers to an August 7, 2019 letter EPA issued for the benefit of registrants responsible for labeling products containing glyphosate. This letter says EPA’s scientific analyses regarding glyphosate, summarized in a 2017 report, were far superior than the work California used to reach the “probably carcinogenic to humans” conclusion. The letter indicates products with labels using the California language are “misbranded” under federal law and a new label removing the California language should be submitted to EPA for approval within 90 days.
To see the EPA press release, which contains links to the letter to registrants and to EPA’s 2017 report, https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-takes-action-provide-accurate-risk-information-consumers-stop-false-labeling