California celebrates a victory over Monsanto as legislation voted to mark toxic weed killer (and Monsanto favorite) Roundup with a “Cancer Causing” label. In a decision put forth by California’s Environmental Protection Agency, the weed killer’s main ingredient, glyphosate, will now warn consumers about its dangerous side effects. California’s decision is the first of its kind in the country, to legally label glyphosate as a carcinogen.
In recent years, Roundup has become a popular and widely used chemical by farmers across the United States, developed by Monsanto in the 1970s. The chemical is used as a weed killer, known to kill weeds and grasses without killing crops. Over the years, weeds have begun to grow tolerant to glyphosate, spurring farmers to use even more of the chemical. Although Roundup helps to bolster crops, it has also been linked to toxic side effects in both lab animals and humans. Cancer, birth defects and other reproductive problems are linked to exposure to Roundup and other carcinogens.
Earlier this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer found glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen, which inspired California to further examine the chemical. The state’s choice to label glyphosate as a carcinogen is a monumental step against Monsanto, and toward better health. Monsanto has called for a retraction, to no avail.
California’s EPA has put out an announcement with intention to list glyphosate as a carcinogen, inviting the public to comment on the issue until October 5th. Hopefully the rest of the country will follow suit, and help to protect against Roundup’s toxic effects.