Court rejects Trump-era EPA finding that weed killer safe
WASHINGTON A federal appeals court rejected a Trump administration finding Roundup’s active ingredient does not pose a significant health danger and is “not likely to cause cancer in people”.
The California-based 9th U.S. The 9th U.S. based in California ordered the Environmental Protection Agency
to reexamine their 2020 findings that glyphosate didn’t pose a health threat to people who were exposed by any means, including on farms, yards, roadsides, or residues left on food crops.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant, has been accused of a multitude of claims by Roundup victims. Bayer bought Monsanto, the original producer of Roundup in 2018,.
Roundup is still available for purchase. According to an agency spokesman, EPA officials are reviewing the 54-page ruling “and will decide next steps.” The Supreme Court is also considering whether to hear an appeal from Bayer that could shut down thousands of lawsuits on the cancer claims.
Writing in the unanimous three-judge panel Judge Michelle Friedland stated that EPA’s conclusion of no risk to human health was “not supported by substantial evidence.” She also ruled that EPA failed to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act due to insufficiently examining glyphosate’s impact on animals and vegetation.
Legal opponents claimed that EPA “shirked” its obligations under the Endangered Species Act. We agree and remand the agency for further consideration,” wrote Friedland (a former nominee of President Barack Obama).
The Center for Food Safety was one of the groups that challenged Friday’s decision. It called Friday’s ruling a “historic victory for farmworkers” and for the environment. ”
Amy van Saun (senior attorney at the center), said that the decision “gives voice” to those suffering from glyphosate-related cancer, nonHodgkin’s lymphoma.
“EPA’s ‘no-cancer’ risk conclusion was not upheld by scrutiny,” she stated. “The court agreed that EPA needed to ensure the safety of endangered species before greenlighting glyphosate.”
While EPA has said it has not found evidence of cancer risk f rom glyphosate, California and other states have listed it as a cancer risk and local governments across the country have restricted its use. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as “probably carcinogenic.”
Bayer announced last year it is removing glyphosate from the U.S. residential lawn-and-garden marketplace, effective as early as 2023.
Bayer stated in a statement Friday evening that EPA’s 2020 conclusion was based on a thorough assessment of the extensive body science that spans more than 40years. According to the statement, the company believes that EPA will continue to conclude that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe and not carcinogenic.
Last Year, Bayer set aside $4.5 million to address claims that glyphosate can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of cancer). For earlier rounds of litigation, the company had previously been charged with nearly $10 trillion. Jay Feldman, executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, a plaintiff, stated that
“EPA’s failures to act on the science has real-world adverse effects for farmworkers and the public. “The agency’s obstruction to the regulatory process will no longer be tolerated because of this lawsuit.” ”
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