EPA’s Odd Handling of Controversial Chemical
h/t: Organic Consumers Association
Every 15 years, pesticides come up for review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last year, 2015, was the year the EPA was supposed to review and either renew, or reject, glyphosate.
We’re still waiting. Meanwhile, glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, was as ubiquitous in the media this week as it is in our environment—and on our food.
As OCA, Friends of the Earth, Moms Across America and other groups planned a May 4 petition delivery (over half a million signatures) to EPA officials in Washington D.C., asking the agency to reject the renewal of glyphosate, the EPA was busy posting—then un-posting—documents the agency will use to justify its final, and presumably Monsanto-friendly, decision.
“The EPA on Monday [May 2] posted online and then removed an October 2015 final report from its Cancer Assessment Review Committee, which is made up of staff, that concluded glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
The move prompted House Committee on Science Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to fire off a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. In the letter, according to Politico, Smith said that the decision to yank the report “raises questions about the agency’s motivation in providing a fair assessment of glyphosate.”
Smith wasn’t the only one with questions. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a press release accusing the EPA of using industry-funded studies to refute the World Health Organization’s findings that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen:
“EPA’s determination that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic is disappointing, but not terribly surprising — industry has been manipulating this process for years,” said Nathan Donley, a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The analysis done by the World Health Organization is more open and transparent and remains the gold standard.”
US Right to Know (USRTK)’s Carey Gillam outlined the significance of the yanked document as it relates to protecting Monsanto from any legal liability from cancer patients:
Monsanto touted and tweeted the release of the document, which follows the release by EPA of a different memorandum supporting the safety of glyphosate last June. The newest memo gives the company added evidence to defend itself against a mounting stack of lawsuits filed by agricultural workers and others alleging Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide gave them cancer.
In other glyphosate news this week? Quaker Oats faces a class action lawsuit for being “deceptive and misleading” after glyphosate is detected in its oatmeal. Members of the European Parliament call for the European Commission to rethink plans to renew glyphosate in the EU.
And then there was this gem from Mercola.com: “Many Surprising Foods Found to Contain Monsanto’s Deadly Poison.” Not to mention our Video of the Week, from ABC News, about glyphosate in your California wine.
The EPA now says it will be the end of 2016 before they issue their final ruling. That’s how long we have to stop the madness.