Missouri groups lead charge against flawed classification of herbicide

  

Associated Industries of Missouri, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau, and St. Louis-based National Corn Growers Association join other groups targeting classification they say would devastate American food supply, economies

FRESNO, Calif. – Agriculture groups from across the country Wednesday joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court against the State of California for ignoring science and conclusions from regulatory bodies around the world in a fundamentally flawed regulatory classification of Glyphosate, an environmentally-safe and widely-used herbicide. The coalition’s case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

At issue is California’s July action ignoring their own scientific reviews, as well as studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and every other leading regulatory body around the world and falsely classifying the environmentally-benign herbicide as a probable carcinogen.

As a result of California’s Prop 65 false warning, manufacturers of products containing glyphosate, or residues thereof, sold in California will need to affix a false and misleading warning label to their products. The groups say this violates the First Amendment, which protects individuals and businesses from compelled false speech. As a result, farmers, manufacturers, and distributors of products that are legally permitted under strictly enforced federal regulations would have to place a warning label on those products they know to be false.

Ray McCarty

“Associated Industries of Missouri is part of a nationwide diverse coalition of groups that have come together to challenge California’s false Prop 65 warning on glyphosate,” Ray McCarty, President/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, said. “The coalition includes manufacturers, food producers, farmers, processors and consumers from across the country – all of whom object to the requirements of Prop 65 as it relates to glyphosate. Glyphosate is not only safe and cost-effective, it is an essential tool that farmers have safely used for more than four decades. California’s attempt to require my members to endorse a false warning is unconstitutional and would impose economic hardship across the supply chain. We cannot sit idly by – we must engage and believe the Courts will agree with us that this requirement is unconstitutional.”

“The unified voice of this diverse coalition of agriculture and business groups illustrates the devastating impact California’s flawed action would have across the country,” said Gordon Stoner, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers, the lead plaintiff in the case.  “California’s erroneous warning about glyphosate is unconstitutional and would result in higher food costs, crushing blows to state and agricultural economies and lost revenue up and down the entire supply chain.”

Plaintiffs in the case include Associated Industries of Missouri, the Iowa Soybean Association, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Farm Bureau, the National Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association and the United States Durum Growers Association.

The warning is based on a highly-controversial and deeply flawed finding by a non-regulatory, French-based foreign body called IARC.

Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, but also produces This Week in Missouri Politics and publishes Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.

Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.

To contact Rachael, email rachael@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.