Sometimes facts beat hype. This week was one of those times. The EPA, after years of compiling and evaluating data, declared that it would not approve labels for the herbicide glyphosate that contained a cancer warning. This puts the U.S. agency in direct opposition to California's absurd Proposition 65, which would require a cancer warning label on the chemical -- even though it would be incorrect. The U.S. now joins a dozen other countries that have already determined glyphosate is safe as used.
You might as well get pissed off in advance because if you don't much care for scientific evidence you're not going to enjoy this a whole lot. Sorry, but facts are facts, and in this case, the US EPA has them right while the State of California has them wrong.
By any measure, California's Proposition 65 is an exercise in madness.
The law, which is officially titled "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986," was well-intended at the time it was written – to stop pollutants from being discharged into water. Now it has nothing to do with water; it is merely an excuse for predatory trial lawyers, to file lawsuits against companies, small and large, with the laughable goal of "protecting the public" by suing companies that fail to "warn the public" about harmless products like purses, shoes, Tiffany lamps, and bird feeders, as well as hotel rooms, and amusement parks. How, did these evil companies –many being small family businesses – fail to adequately warn us? By not putting an immensely stupid label on things that cannot possibly hurt you. (See Should California Put A Warning Label On Your Penis?). So it should not be surprising that California wants a Prop 65 label put on the controversial herbicide glyphosate.
Except, the EPA doesn't see it that way when it comes to glyphosate (1). The agency recently announced that it would not permit California to put a cancer label on the chemical. And rightly so.
Some will write off the EPA's recent decision to reject a cancer warning label for glyphosate as partisan politics or big money influencing a government agency. It is neither. Instead, we are seeing a rare case of honesty that is based on scientific evidence, not nonsense. The EPAs decision is scientifically sound on every level.
"We will not allow California's flawed program to dictate federal policy,"
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler
Good for him. Wheeler is dead-on. The "evidence" supporting the carcinogenicity of the chemical is not only flimsy; it is a product of fraudulent research by the International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC). Here is an excerpt from my colleague Dr. Alex Berezow's complete annihilation of IARC and its findings:
"We now have an answer... The Times reports that Christopher Portier, a key IARC advisor who lobbied to have glyphosate listed as a carcinogen, accepted $160,000 from trial lawyers representing cancer patients who stood to profit handsomely by suing glyphosate manufacturers. Mr. Portier's failure to disclose such an obvious conflict of interest has exploded into a textbook case of scientific fraud."
Dr. Alex Berezow, Glyphosate-Gate: IARC's Scientific Fraud, October 2017
IARC's "evidence," such as it is, was the lone culprit in designating glyphosate as a carcinogen. Epidemiological studies have found no connection between cancer industrial workers who routinely handle the stuff. Biochemical assays that are suggestive of DNA damage or mutation all come up negative. Aside from IARC's made-up baloney, there are no valid animal studies that show that it causes cancer. Regulatory agencies from the US, Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Australia, and Korea all state that glyphosate does not pose a risk of toxicity or carcinogenicity.
Yet, California, based on IARC's phony findings wanted to slap an incorrect label on it based on the findings of a corrupt group.
A rare win for science and a loss for faulty activism. How refreshing.
(1) This week's announcement was not the first time that EPA has objected to the cancer label. In 2017 the agency released the Glyphosate Human Health Risk Assessment, which was a basis for the 2019 decision.