California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that it intended to list glyphosate (Roundup) and three other chemicals as cancer-causing chemicals under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). Glyphosate is far from being "safe" and it has been linked to multiple chronic diseases that have become prevalent in Western societies, including obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Joining glyphosate on the Proposition 65 list is malathion, parathion, and tetrachlorvinphos. A California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) report, titled Agricultural Pesticide Use near Public Schools in California, finds that 36 percent of public schools in the state have pesticides of public health concern applied within a quarter mile of the school, including malathion and parathion. Malathion, which is also classified as a Group 2A material by the IARC, is a nonsystemic, widespectrum organophosphate nerve poison that causes numbness, tremors, nausea, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing or respiratory depression, and slow heartbeat, among others. Parathion and tetrachlorvinphos are also organophosphates that attack the nerve system, particularly in young children, causing neurological damage.
Last year, the Center for Biological Study and Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly. Their press release explains the dramatic 90 percent decline over the last 20 years:
The butterfly’s dramatic decline is being driven by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs are born. The vast majority of genetically engineered crops are made to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, a uniquely potent killer of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food. The dramatic surge in Roundup use with Roundup Ready crops has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in midwestern corn and soybean fields.
Full report here
Monsanto is reporting that it is "baffled" and "stunned" by this news; no doubt California is in for a fight. Please support legislation that will protect our food, our children, and our water! In the meantime, the safest choice is to eat organic foods and to use non-toxic methods of pest control.
Thank you California EPA for taking the lead on this issue.