Petition demands EPA revoke license for weed-killer ingredient

Petition demands EPA revoke license for weed-killer ingredient

More than 14,000 people have signed a petition that asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke the license for glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

“Recent tests have found glyphosate/Roundup in our water, urine, breast milk, food, beer and now, wine — even organic wine from vineyards which do not use Roundup,” Moms Across America wrote in the Care2 petition.

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Last April, the United Nations World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a scientific assessment that found glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Moms Across America said the Netherlands, France and Brazil have banned it altogether and the European Parliament has recommended the license for glyphosate not be renewed.

“Glyphosate should not be in our consumer products in any amount," the national coalition of environmentally friendly moms said. "It is not safe as previously claimed."

Last year, Democrats asked the EPA to evaluate the herbicide amidst growing concerns that the chemical in the world’s most widely used weed killer “probably” causes cancer. 

In an email Tuesday, an EPA spokesperson told The Hill the agency is "working through some important science issues," by doing an in-depth human incidents and epidemiology evaluation of glyphosate residue in human breast milk and doing a preliminary analysis of glyphosate's toxicity to milkweed, which is a critical resource for the monarch butterfly.

“We hope to issue the draft risk assessment for public comment by the end of 2016,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement to The Hill, Monsanto said the information from Moms Across America “is intended to incite unwarranted confusion and concern.” 

“The data released by the Moms Across America are not based on a valid analytical method,” the company said. “These claims have been repudiated by regulatory authorities such as the U.S. EPA. Recent validated studies by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and academic researchers have found no residues of glyphosate in milk using validated analytical methods.”

Monsanto argues that glyphosate is one of the most extensively studied agricultural products on the market. 

“Glyphosate-based herbicides have a 40-year history of safe use,” the company said. “No regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate a carcinogen. IARC is not a regulator.” 

This story was updated to include Monsanto's statements.