Thursday, March 23, 2023

Court rejects Trump-era EPA ruling that Roundup herbicide is safe

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a Trump administration’s finding that the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup does not pose a serious health risk and is “unlikely” to cause cancer in humans.

The California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its 2020 finding that glyphosate poses no health risk to people exposed to it in any way – on farms, plots or roads or as leftovers on food crops. .

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Pharmaceutical giant Bayer, which acquired the herbicide’s original producer Monsanto in 2018, faces thousands of claims from people who say Roundup exposure caused their cancer.

READ MORE: Jury orders Monsanto to pay $ 2 billion in herbicide cancer case

Roundup will remain available for sale. According to an agency spokesman, EPA officials are reviewing the 54-page ruling “and will decide on next steps.” The Supreme Court is also considering hearing an appeal from Bayer that could end thousands of lawsuits over the cancer trips.

Judge Michelle Friedland wrote for a unanimous panel of three judges, saying EPA’s finding that there was no risk to human health “was not supported by substantial evidence.” She also ruled that EPA was failing to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act by inadequately investigating the impact of glyphosate on animal species and vegetation.

Legal critics said EPA “evaded its duties under the Endangered Species Act. We agree and return to the agency for further consideration, “wrote Friedland, a nominee for former President Barack Obama.

The Center for Food Safety, one of the groups that challenged the decision, called Friday’s ruling “a historic victory for farm workers and the environment”.

The decision “gives voice to those suffering from glyphosate’s cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Amy van Saun, senior attorney at the center.

“EPA’s ‘no cancer’ risk conclusion did not stand up to scrutiny,” she said. “The court agreed that EPA should ensure the safety of endangered species before glyphosate turns green.”

READ MORE: What you need to know about a popular herbicide’s alleged link to cancer

While EPA said it did not find evidence of glyphosate cancer risk, California and other states listed it as a cancer risk and local governments across the country 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 that it would remove glyphosate from the U.S. residential lawn and garden market, with effect from 2023.

Bayer said in a statement Friday night that the EPA’s 2020 conclusion was “based on a rigorous assessment of the extended science that spans more than 40 years.” The company believes that EPA “will continue to reach this conclusion, as it and other regulators have consistently concluded for more than four decades that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic,” the statement said. .

Bayer set aside $ 4.5 billion last year to deal with allegations that glyphosate causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. The company has previously filed a nearly $ 10 billion complaint for earlier rounds of litigation.

“EPA’s failure to act on science, as set out in the litigation, has real detrimental health consequences for farm workers, the public and ecosystems,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, a plaintiff in the case. “As a result of this lawsuit, the agency’s impediment to the regulatory process will not be allowed to stand.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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