Previously, we began discussing the topic of glyphosate toxicity and how the EPA regulates pesticides. As we noted, the EPA regulates pesticides by establishing and enforcing residue tolerance levels. As we’ve noted, many are concerned at present about the EPA’s stance on glyphosate, saying that the tolerance level is currently set to high and that consumers are therefore at risk.
One issue that is currently being probed in litigation that began last month in federal court in California is how much influence Monsanto—the company that produces the herbicide Roundup—has had over the EPA’s approach to regulating glyphosate. A group of over 50 plaintiffs are claiming that Monsanto has been sitting for decades on evidence that glyphosate increases cancer risks. The plaintiffs are claiming that family members developed non-Hodgin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup.
Of particular concern for the plaintiffs are documents which include the chemical manufacturer’s communications with former EPA Deputy Division Director Jess Rowland. He was responsible for studying and assessing the health effects of pesticide exposure. Interestingly, Rowland stepped down from his EPA position shortly after helping release a report contradicting a World Health Organization finding that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
Monsanto is arguing that the documents are confidential and contain sensitive information, that Rowland cannot be deposed, and that there is only minimal information of public interest. Critics say the company is simply trying to hide its extensive lobbying efforts.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the litigation, as well as other cases against Monsanto. For consumers who believe they may have been harmed by exposure to glyphosate or other pesticides or toxic chemicals, of course, it is important to always work with an experienced attorney to determine options for legal action and potential recovery.