The First Steps to Ban Glyphosate in the USA

Aug 7th, 2017

The decision on adding glyphosate to the list of cancer-causing chemicals comes into operation in California from July 7, 2017.  Glyphosate was qualified as a carcinogen by California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). First OEHHA initiated the decision to include the most common pesticide in the world to this list in 2015; however, this statement provoked a sharp protest from the largest manufacturers of glyphosate.

A former patent holder for glyphosate and the world’s leading biotechnology company Monsanto appealed the decision of OEHHA and said they would continue to defend their rights in court. Scott Partridge, a Vice-President of Monsanto’s global strategy, announced that the company would keep on aggressively defending its own interests in the future.

Despite the strong opposition of the manufacturers, two years later OEHHA managed to collect the necessary data proving the harm glyphosate on human health.  Under OEHHA resolution, glyphosate producers are obliged to place the warning about the potential carcinogenicity of the pesticide on the packaging. This applies to all manufacturers and suppliers of glyphosate in California. California authorities have given the producers a year to change the labelling, otherwise, their products will not be allowed on the state market.

For the first time, glyphosate was referenced as a pesticide with the potential harm to human health in early 2010. Following on from the results of Vitro studies, conducted in animals, in 2015 the World Health Organization classified the pesticide as a 2A category chemical according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This category includes potential carcinogenic chemicals for humans.

However, hereafter and the Commission of UN experts and the European Agency for food safety reported that intrinsically glyphosate does not cause cancer. Only compound herbicides that include glyphosate can have an oncogenic effect.