Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide perhaps best known for being the active ingredient in the blockbuster weed killer Roundup®. As many readers are probably aware, Roundup® is currently the subject of both state and federal litigation in which numerous plaintiffs allege that using Roundup® caused their cancers. Whether Roundup® is in fact carcinogenic has been the subject of international consideration. Here in the United States, we now find the State of California and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) on opposing sides of the issue.
Glyphosate was first registered in the United States in 1974. For many years, the EPA and other international bodies have essentially affirmed glyphosate’s safety. However, in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. In March 2017, the European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA”) announced recommendations from a risk assessment of glyphosate which was performed by its Committee for Risk Assessment. That committee did not find evidence implicating glyphosate as being carcinogenic. In the United States, the EPA continued to maintain its position that glyphosate poses no significant cancer risks to the generally public. Read more ›