Monday, September 14, 2015

California EPA Marks "Roundup" as Cancer Causing

Monsanto's popular "Roundup" herbicide, whose advertising depicts zombie-like consumers zapping every living thing in sight with a "Roundup" bottle and squirt gun, suffered a damaging blow when California announced this week it will label the herbicide as a human cancer causing agent.  Environmental advocates around the world have been campaigning for such a labeling.  In a statement released earlier this year, the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate, the main active ingredient, is "probably carcinogenic".  Due to a state law passed in 1986 California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is required to add "Roundup" to their list.  An estimated 250 million pounds of glyphosate are used in the US.  It is no longer plausibly deniable that indiscriminate use and abuse of glyphosate is a danger to public health and wildlife.

In Lyon, France an appeals court has upheld a 2012 ruling against Monsanto that determined the agribusiness was guilty poisoning a farmer named Paul François.  He claimed he became ill due to Monsanto's "Lasso", suffering neurological problems, headaches and stammering after accidentally inhaling the herbicide. François entered a coma in hispital and suffered permanent brain damage.  Doctors concluded his sickness was caused by monocholorobenzene, a highly toxic chemical that composes 50% of the herbicide.  The decision is historic accroding to François lawyer who said it was the first time that a pesticide maker was found guilty of a product poisoning.  The company intends to continuing appealing the decision to the highest French court.  "Lasso" was banned from use in France and all other member countries in 2007.  "Lasso" was phased out of use in the US, but a second active ingredient in the product, alachlor is in widespread use on soybean crops in the Midwest.  Federal EPA says alachor, an orderless white powder, has the potential to cause damage to liver, kidney, spleen, nasal mucosa and eyes due to long-term exposure.  It considers the pesticide to be an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen.