Earlier this month, a court decision about a chemical called glyphosate garnered headlines in newspapers across the country. And rightly so: glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller. The pesticide is sprayed on roughly 285 million U.S. acres, and is so popular globally that it is the world’s most widely used herbicide.
For decades, Monsanto and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have assured us that glyphosate herbicides are safe. But those assurances have increasingly come under challenge by evolving science.
On June 17, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed what we have long known – that the EPA’s safety findings are deeply flawed. The court’s decision in Rural Coalition, et al. v. U.S. EPA overturned the agency’s determination that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer. It also held that the EPA failed to protect species listed under the Endangered Species Act before approving glyphosate.