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California to Officially List Key Ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup as Cancer-Causing

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's widely used herbicide Roundup, will be added July 7 to California's list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, according to a Reuters report Tuesday. This news comes after the company's unsuccessful attempt to block the listing in trial court and requests for stay were denied by a state appellate court and California's Supreme Court.

California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the designation on Monday under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, or Proposition 65.

Citing figures from the state's pesticide regulation department, the Los Angeles Times noted that glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in California and is sprayed on more than 200 crops across 4 million acres across the Golden State.

The St. Louis-based agrochemical maker adamantly defended its star product, telling Reuters the OEHHA listing was "unwarranted on the basis of science and the law."

The company's appeal of the trial court's ruling is pending. "This is not the final step in the process, and it has no bearing on the merits of the case," Scott Partridge, Monsanto's vice president of global strategy, said. "We will continue to aggressively challenge this improper decision."

Under Prop 65, Monsanto and other companies that sell the chemical in the state will be required to add warning labels to packaging within one year from the listing date. Furthermore, warnings would also be required if glyphosate is sprayed at levels deemed unsafe by regulators, Reuters reported.

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