Judge Says Public Doesn’t Need Cancer Warning Label
By Zen Honeycutt
A California federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the public does not need a warning label to inform us that cancer-causing and harmful chemicals in glyphosate herbicides are in our food or products, temporarily relieving manufacturers from the responsibility of being honest with their customers. At a time when more and more American families are struggling with diseases and their high cost, one man decided that it was an injustice to the chemical companies to have to tell us about the presence of their chemicals.
Senior United States District Judge William B. Shubb released his ruling regarding the case of Wheat Growers and Monsanto against the California Environmental Protection Agency (CA EPA), Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the CA attorney general to remove glyphosate, the declared active chemical ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, from the CA Prop 65 carcinogen list, a law approved by California voters by ballot initiative in 1986.
The judge ruled that OEHHA can keep glyphosate on the Prop 65 carcinogen list but the manufacturers such as Monsanto and food producers will not have to label their products with a warning label. Normally, the law states that products containing chemicals on the list, above a certain level, must label their products within a year from the listing. The label would state, "WARNING this product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm." The temporary preliminary injunction granted by the judge halts the impending labeling by manufacturers of products and foods containing glyphosate and allows them not to inform their customers of this fact ... that glyphosate has been found to cause cancer in animals and to be a probable human carcinogen.
The result is that OEHHA acknowledges glyphosate-containing products can cause cancer, but cannot require the manufacturers of such products to warn consumers because it could negatively affect corporate profits.
This one judge, one man, who could not even pronounce "glyphosate" at the beginning of the hour long hearing, has just changed the law and effectively hidden the known cancer-causing effects of glyphosate from not only Californians, but from an entire nation looking to California to lead the way in health regulations.
One must ask: Why doesn't this judge want you to know what you are eating? Why wouldn't he think it wise to inform the public that cancer causing chemicals are in our food? Is it not a matter of public interest that the chemicals in this herbicide, itself an antibiotic by patent, has been proven to be neurotoxic, genotoxic, endocrine disruptors, which can lead to mental illness and increasing depression and acts of violence, are in our children's peanut butter sandwich? Why aren't couples with infertility being told that the wheat snacks they are eating are likely keeping them from getting pregnant? Why aren't parents allowed to know that the non-organic orange juice and oatmeal they are giving their baby or the hummus that they eat for lunch contains high levels of glyphosate herbicide which has been proven at ultra low levels to cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
The answer appears to be that the judge did not consider the evidence before him. He stated that "on the evidence before the court the required warning for glyphosate does not prove to be accurate and uncontroversial" citing that "almost all other agencies have proven that glyphosate is not carcinogenic." This is simply untrue. Health and regulatory agencies of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and six Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman have issued outright bans on glyphosate, imposed restrictions or have issued statements of intention to ban or restrict glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup, over health concerns and the ongoing Roundup cancer litigation.
The Feb. 26, 2018 OEHHA Prop 65 ruling clearly panders to the chemical company, Monsanto, who argued that the listing and labeling of their products would lead to "irreparable harm" because public and private "enforcers" would sue, causing them to lose vast amounts of resources and loss of sales. What about the irreparable harm to Mary, California mother of two, whose father and son were both exposed to Roundup during backyard garden use, and both contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
What about the irreparable harm to the mothers who spoke up at the Monsanto Tribunal whose sons were undergoing more than 60 surgeries for birth defects which were linked to exposure to glyphosate herbicide during their pregnancy? What about the irreparable harm to our nation due to the health issues and skyrocketing health care costs which have been connected to glyphosate herbicides?
Did the judge consider the evidence of collusion between Monsanto and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees to cover up the carcinogenicity of glyphosate from the public? Or did he ignore the ghost writing, manipulation of science and lack of safety of the final formulation of glyphosate herbicides?
The impact of this ruling is that, unless further legal action is taken, consumers will not see warning labels on food informing them that they contain the cancer-causing glyphosate herbicide. Activists and non-profit organizations that have been testing food items for glyphosate will not be able to hold food companies accountable and sue on the grounds of not labeling their products. Consumers will not see a label on Roundup, warning them of cancer-causing chemicals within the products and they will continue to use Roundup where their children, grandchildren and pets play.
This ruling magnifies an enormous problem within our government. We elect politicians into office and expect them to protect us, and they don't. In addition, judges are appointed by our elected officials, and the opinion of that one person can supersede the law of an entire state or nation. This judge, appointed by President Bush in 1990, did not display any knowledge of the effects of this chemical or the process in which a chemical is listed as a carcinogen. When he asked if the chemical was harmful, the lawyer on the OEHHA side did not give a sufficient response. Monsanto's lawyer argued vehemently that the carcinogenic issue was contested and the decision of one agency should not require them to "falsely" label their products. Clearly, all Monsanto had to do was instill doubt regarding the harmful effects of the chemical in order to win their case.
OEHHA's Sam Delson commented on the case, "While the court granted the request for a preliminary injunction regarding the warning requirement, the court denied the request for a preliminary injunction on the listing itself. The court stated, 'plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the listing of glyphosate violates the First Amendment … ' We are pleased that the listing of glyphosate remains in effect, and we believe our actions were lawful. We have not decided whether to appeal the ruling."
Once again, big corporations have influenced the policies of our regulatory agencies and are getting away with hiding the truth about harmful chemicals and our food supply. Once again, activists wonder what it will take to have justice in our country, safe food, and a nation we can be proud of. Clearly, if we wait for our government to do the right thing we will be waiting forever. The answer continues to be ... it is up to consumers to get informed, to test even more, share information, and refuse to buy products which contain harmful chemicals and stop supporting a system of corruption and poison.
'Dangerous Drift-Prone Pesticide' Threatens Millions of Acres, Hundreds of Endangered Species: Farmers and Conserva… https://t.co/uIJ5st8T5A— The Progressive (@The Progressive)1518497399.0
Zen Honeycutt is founder and executive director of Moms Across America.
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By Gwen Ranniger
Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.
Infertility and Environmental Health: The Facts<ul> <li>Sperm count is declining steeply, significantly, and continuously in Western countries, with no signs of tapering off. Erectile dysfunction is on the rise, and women are facing increasing rates of miscarriage and difficulty conceiving.</li><li>Why? A huge factor is our environmental health. Hormones (particularly testosterone and estrogen) are what make reproductive function possible, and our hormones are increasingly being negatively affected by harmful, endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonplace in the modern world—in our homes, foods, and lifestyles.</li></ul>
What You Can Do About It<p>It should be noted that infertility can be caused by any number of factors, including medical conditions that cannot be solved with a simple change at home.</p><p><em>If you or a loved one are struggling with infertility, our hearts and sympathies are with you. Your pain is validated and we hope you receive answers to your struggles.</em></p><p>Read on to discover our tips to restore or improve reproductive health by removing harmful habits and chemicals from your environment.</p>
Edit Your Health<ul><li>If you smoke, quit! Smoking is toxic, period. If someone in your household smokes, urge them to quit or institute a no-smoking ban in the house. It is just as important to avoid secondhand smoke.</li><li>Maintain a healthy weight. Make sure your caloric intake is right for your body and strive for moderate exercise.</li><li>Eat cleanly! Focus on whole foods and less processed meals and snacks. Studies have found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet is linked to increased fertility.</li><li>Minimize negative/constant stress—or find ways to manage it. Hobbies such as meditation or yoga that encourage practiced breathing are great options to reduce the physical toll of stress.</li></ul>
Edit Your Home<p>We spend a lot of time in our homes—and care that what we bring into them will not harm us. You may not be aware that many commonly found household items are sources of harmful, endocrine-disrupting compounds. Read on to find steps you can take—and replacements you should make—in your home.</p><p><strong>In the Kitchen</strong></p><ul> <li>Buy organic, fresh, unprocessed foods whenever possible. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/clean-grocery-shopping-guide-2648563801.html" target="_blank">Read our grocery shopping guide for more tips about food.</a></li><li>Switch to glass, ceramics, or stainless steel for food storage: plastics often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that affect fertility. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/bpa-pollution-2645493129.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about the dangers of plastic here.</a></li><li>Ban plastic from the microwave. If you have a plastic splatter cover, use paper towel, parchment paper, or an upside-down plate instead.</li><li>Upgrade your cookware: non-stick may make life easier, but it is made with unsafe chemical compounds that seep into your food. Cast-iron and stainless steel are great alternatives.</li><li>Filter tap water. Glass filter pitchers are an inexpensive solution; if you want to invest you may opt for an under-the-sink filter.</li><li>Check your cleaning products—many mainstream products are full of unsafe chemicals. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Check out our guide to safe cleaning products for more info</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>In the Bathroom </strong></p><ul> <li>Check the labels on your bathroom products: <em>fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free</em> and organic labels are all great signs. You can also scan the ingredients lists for red-flag chemicals such as: triclosan, parabens, and dibutyl phthalate. Use the <a href="https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/" target="_blank">EWG Skin Deep database</a> to vet your personal products.</li><li>Ditch the vinyl shower curtain—that new shower curtain smell is chemical-off gassing. Choose a cotton or linen based curtain instead.</li><li>Banish air fresheners—use natural fresheners (an open window, baking soda, essential oils) instead.</li></ul><p><strong>Everywhere Else</strong></p><ul><li>Remove wall-to-wall carpet. If you've been considering wood or tile, here's your sign: many synthetic carpets can emit harmful chemicals for years. If you want a rug, choose wool or plant materials such as jute or sisal.</li><li>Prevent dust build-up. Dust can absorb chemicals in the air and keep them lingering in your home. Vacuum rugs and wipe furniture, trim, windowsills, fans, TVs, etc. Make sure to have a window open while you're cleaning!</li><li>Leave shoes at the door! When you wear your shoes throughout the house, you're tracking in all kinds of chemicals. If you like wearing shoes inside, consider a dedicated pair of "indoor shoes" or slippers.</li><li>Clean out your closet—use cedar chips or lavender sachets instead of mothballs, and use "green" dry-cleaning services over traditional methods. If that isn't possible, let the clothes air out outside or in your garage for a day before putting them back in your closet.</li><li>Say no to plastic bags!</li><li>We asked 22 endocrinologists what products they use - and steer clear of—in their homes. <a href="https://www.ehn.org/nontoxic-products-2648564261.html" target="_blank">Check out their responses here</a>.</li></ul>
Learn More<ul><li>For more information and action steps, be sure to check out <em>Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race</em> by EHS adjunct scientist Shanna Swan, PhD: <a href="https://www.shannaswan.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">available for purchase here.</a></li><li><a href="https://www.ehn.org/st/Subscribe_to_Above_The_Fold" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sign up for our Above the Fold Newsletter </a>to stay up to date about impacts on the environment and your health.</li></ul>
The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.