Despite federal court ruling, California may put Prop 65 cancer label on glyphosate weedkiller

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Credit: Haven Daley, Associated Press

On October 6, 2020, the California Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) announced it will be meeting on December 11, 2020, to discuss the possible developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) of 22 chemical substances and chemical groups, including glyphosate and its salts.

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The fact that OEHHA is seeking DARTIC’s review of glyphosate is particularly interesting, as glyphosate is already listed under Prop 65 based on a finding that glyphosate is a chemical known to cause cancer. That listing is in jeopardy, however, based on a June 2020 court decision that prohibits OEHHA from requiring Prop 65 warnings because the basis for the listing, a determination by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that the glyphosate is “probably” carcinogenic to humans, is not consistent with the findings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies.

[Editor’s note: To learn more, read Viewpoint: California’s science-challenged Proposition 65 toxic chemical regulation act at center of ‘tort shakedown’ racket.]

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If OEHHA is not successful in its appeal of the court’s ruling and is successful in listing glyphosate based on its potential to cause developmental and reproductive toxicity effects, the result would be a new basis upon which to impose Prop 65 warning requirements. At the same time, EPA’s registration review of glyphosate encompasses, in EPA’s view, a health risk assessment, which includes a pesticide’s potential risks of developmental and reproductive effects.

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