Ag News

Urban Ag Council responds to verdict in Roundup case

On Aug. 10, a San Francisco jury awarded $289 million in damages to a plaintiff who claimed his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

On Aug. 20, The Georgia Urban Ag Council (UAC), an association of green industry stakeholders, received inquiries about the case, glyphosate safety and guidance on the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.

“As with all herbicides, pesticides and other products, use glyphosate in accordance with its labeling, wearing recommended personal protective equipment (PPE),” UAC Executive Director Mary Kay Woodworth wrote in a note to UAC members and industry friends.

The UAC collaborated with UGA Extension Turfgrass Specialist Dr. Clint Waltz to compile information about glyphosate use and the court verdict. The UAC also shared a glyphosate fact sheet from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Waltz/UAC information, which can be viewed at https://gfb.ag/UACglyphosateinfo, notes that the jury based its verdict on the opinion of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which said glyphosate is carcinogenic despite numerous findings to the contrary in numerous countries, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Investigative reports by major news outlets found that the IARC report on glyphosate omitted conclusions from key studies, and the IARC did no independent study.

Waltz/UAC also pointed out a 2017 study by the National Cancer Institute which found that there was “no apparent association between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall.”

The EPA fact sheet, which can be viewed at https://gfb.ag/EPAglyphosatefacts, noted that glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe use and that more than 800 studies around the world have concluded that the chemical does not cause cancer.

The EPA is conducting a routine 15-year review of glyphosate and indicates the final review report will be released in 2019.

Monsanto is now a part of Bayer, which said it would appeal the San Francisco verdict.