California and EPA in the Weeds Over Glyphosate Warning

In 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added glyphosate herbicide to its list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65.

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Last week, the EPA has said it wouldn’t approve any products with labels that claim glyphosate is known to cause cancer.

In a news release, the EPA says California’s listing is “a false claim that does not meet the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The State of California’s much-criticized Proposition 65 has led to misleading labeling requirements for products, like glyphosate, because it misinforms the public about the risks they are facing.”

Following the EPA’s announcement, OEHHA had one of its own, stating the glyphosate warning would remain.

OEHHA says the addition of glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list of carcinogens was following a scientific panel, which included experts from the National Cancer Institute, EPA, and National Institute of Environmental Health. The OEHHA says its decision also was “based on a finding by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate is both an animal carcinogen and ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’ The listing also was supported by IARC’s finding that studies of humans exposed to different glyphosate formulations in different geographic regions at different times reported similar increases in the same type of cancer – non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”