Two nonprofit groups in April, 2017 alleged that Monsanto intentionally mislabeled its weed killer Round Up as “target[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” The lawsuit charges that Monsanto’s statement is “false, deceptive and misleading” because the enzyme targeted by glyphosate “in fact, is found in people and pets.”
Beyond Pesticides and the Organic Consumers Association, through their attorneys filed the lawsuit in Washington, DC, court under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The case is Beyond Pesticides et al v Monsanto Co. et al. The company’s lawyers in turn, allege that since the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) makes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responsible for the accuracy of pesticide labeling the case is preempted based on existing case law in which courts have already held that the law precludes any state labeling requirements different from FIFRA.
In addition to this suit there are a number of suits and class actions against Monsanto alleging that glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is carcinogenic and tied to cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma — an association Monsanto strongly disputes and that is also the topic of competing findings of scientific groups assessing cancer risk.
Adding complications to these cases is the recent Fresno Superior Court case in which the court held that the Prop 65 listing by the state of California, as a carcinogen was proper. Judge Kapetan in her ruling against Monsanto, allows California to proceed with the process of listing glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a chemical “known to the state to cause cancer” in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 under Prop 65. This listing will result in the requirement that all such products, if sold in California, carry a label warning against its alleged carcinogenic effect.