EPA sued over reapproval of key Roundup chemical
Multiple groups on Friday sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to re-approve a chemical used in Bayer’s Roundup weed killer.
The agency re-approved the chemical, known as glyphosate, in January, claiming that it doesn’t pose a danger to humans. Thousands of lawsuits, however, have attributed cancer to Roundup.
One lawsuit against the EPA was filed Friday on behalf of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), Beyond Pesticides, the Rural Coalition, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas, and the Farmworker Association of Florida.
“EPA’s half-completed, biased, and unlawful approval sacrifices the health of farmworkers and endangered species at the altar of Monsanto profits,” said CFS legal director George Kimbrell in a statement. “The reckoning for Roundup is coming.”
Another suit was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America.
The NRDC, in a statement on its lawsuit, called the glyphosate approval “unsafe, unhealthy, and unlawful.”
“EPA ignored warnings from scientists, environmentalists, and medical experts who cautioned about the serious health and environmental harms of continued use of glyphosate,” it said.
In the statement, the organization’s senior director of wildlife, Sylvia Fallon, said that the chemical also eradicates habitat for pollinators.
An EPA official declined to comment, saying the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
In re-approving the chemical earlier this year, the agency said “there was insufficient evidence to conclude that glyphosate plays a role in any human diseases.”
It did find that glyphosate presented “low or limited potential risks” in birds and mammals.
Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide among farmers and is the key ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. The company faces several lawsuits regarding the substance.
The company has claimed, however, that its products can be used safely and that that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Bayer called the EPA’s review of glyphosate “extremely robust” in a statement on Friday.
“For more than 40 years, the EPA has concluded that glyphosate does not pose unreasonable risks to non-target species when glyphosate is used as directed,” the company said.
Updated: 9:55 p.m.
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