A judge in California tentatively ruled that the state can soon require Monsanto to label Roundup, the company’s popular weed killer as a possible cancer threat. The chemical company insists that Roundup poses no risk to people. California will be the first state to order such labeling action if the proposal is carried out. Monsanto has sued California which is the leading agricultural state. The company says that California officials based their decision for carrying the warning label on the findings of an international health organization which is based in France.
Trenton Norris, a Monsanto attorney, argued in court on Friday that the labels would have immediate consequences on profit gains for the company. He said that consumers would take the labels as a warning to stop buying Roundup. Norris said that the label would be used in ways to harm the company. After the hearing, the firm stated that they will change the judge’s tentative ruling.
Critics have issues with Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate which is an odorless and colorless chemical. The company introduced glyphosate in 1974 as an effective weed killer which leaves plants and crops intact. The chemical is sold in 160 countries worldwide and California famers use it on 250 types of crops. The chemical is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which sees the chemical as having low toxicity. People however are recommended to avoid entering the field for 12 hours after the chemical is applied.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the U.N. World Health Organization based in Lyon-France has classified the chemical as a probable carcinogen for humans. Shortly after the announcement, California took its first step to require label warnings in 2015. Monsanto which is based off St. Louis, contends that the state of California is delegating its authority to a foreign body with no accountability in the United States according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Fresno judge who tentatively ruled in favor of the labeling, dismissed a challenge by Monsanto and a group of citrus growers. The company sued the leading agricultural state over the ruling stating that officials have based the ruling off an international health organization’s finding and is illegal. Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan has yet to issue a formal ruling on the case. The decision will come soon said Judge Kapetan as reported by Mail Online.