Statement by Monsanto on Permanent Injunction in Glyphosate Proposition 65 Litigation
WHIPPANY, NJ (June 22, 2020) – A federal judge concluded that a state-based cancer warning label on glyphosate-based products would be illegal, writing that “the weight of evidence is that glyphosate does not cause cancer,” in an order issued in the National Association of Wheat Growers, et al v. Becerra case in the Eastern District of California. The Court entered a preliminary injunction in February 2018 halting enforcement of the Proposition 65 warnings for glyphosate. The ruling makes that injunction permanent, and grants the plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment.
The case in front of Judge William Shubb was brought by a nationwide coalition of agricultural producers and business entities that collectively represent a substantial segment of U.S. agriculture against the California Attorney General. The coalition argued on First Amendment grounds among others against the state’s attempts to require a cancer warning for products containing glyphosate under California’s Proposition 65 because such compelled speech would conflict with the nearly unanimous worldwide scientific consensus that supports the safety and non-carcinogenicity of glyphosate-based products.
“This is a very important ruling for California agriculture and for science as a federal court, after weighing all the facts, has concluded that the evidence does not support a cancer warning requirement for glyphosate-based products, which farmers all over the world depend on to control weeds, practice sustainable farming, and bring their products to market efficiently,” the company said.
In his ruling Judge Shubb addressed both the unconstitutional warning requirement and California’s OEHHA Process, writing, “…the fact remains that every government regulator of which the court is aware, with the exception of the IARC, has found that there was no or insufficient evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. Indeed, the EPA, which Proposition 65 relies on as one of five authoritative bodies for identifying carcinogens, reaffirmed this determination in 2019, noting its vigorous disagreement with the IARC, and stating that a Proposition 65 warning for glyphosate would be false and misleading and would violate the federal herbicide labeling law, 7 U.S.C. § 136a.”
The plaintiff coalition stands strongly behind the safety and non-carcinogenicity of glyphosate, stating in the Motion for Summary Judgement granted by the Court, “Glyphosate has been subject to rigorous scientific scrutiny by the federal government and regulators worldwide for decades. It is widely regarded as one of the safest herbicides ever developed, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it does not pose any risk of cancer.”
In addition to Monsanto, members of the coalition include the National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, United States Durum Growers Association, Western Plant Health Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Iowa Soybean Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Associated Industries of Missouri, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, CropLife America, and Agricultural Retailers Association.