Organic Consumers Association

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California Is Risking Public Health by Improperly Assessing Safety of Monsanto Herbicide

As a California mother, I am encouraged that the CalEPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is even considering the "safe levels" of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world. However, I was dismayed to learn the disturbing news that was revealed at the OEHHA public hearing I attended this week in Sacramento regarding the proposed "No Significant Risk Level” or NSRL for glyphosate exposure.       

Lawyer Pedram Esfandiary from law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, which represents more than 300 clients in cases against Monsanto for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stated that OEHHA had not thoroughly followed the California Code of Regulations Section 25703(a)(2), which requires OEHHA to consider epidemiological data in their assessment of an NSRL. 

Moreover, Esfandiary noted that OEHHA only considered one animal bio-assay study whereas other studies exist which demonstrate the development of tumors at lower exposure levels, namely Wood et al (2009) and Lankas (1981).

Timothy Litzenburg, a lawyer from the Miller Firm, LLC, also representing clients in lawsuits against Monsanto, observed that industry meetings with regulators, such as Monsanto’s meeting with OEHHA regarding the NSRL, should be open to public scrutiny, especially since Monsanto presented data during the meeting with OEHHA in support of an NSRL.

At the CalEPA glyphosate hearing over 40 public citizens, mothers and grandmothers with sick children, lawyers representing citizens, a plaintiff suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, health and environmental advocates spoke before the panel. CA Guild president Bob McFarland, who previously used Roundup in his yard and now has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease asked, "What is the safe level of exposure to poison?”

An advocate for glyphosate-free towns spoke on the huge rise of thyroid cancer, which has been linked to glyphosate, in Hispanic men under 50 who work on the almond farms in Central Valley.

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