After 8 Years of Delay, EPA Finally Agrees to Test Dangers of Monsanto’s Favorite Pesticide

Monday, June 29, 2015
(photo illustration: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, will finally undergo analysis for its effects on endangered species by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), thanks to the persistence of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).


The group has been trying for eight years to get the EPA to look at glyphosate, along with atrazine and two chemicals similar to atrazine: propazine and simazine. Glyphosate was found two months ago by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer to be a probable human carcinogen and was banned for sale in garden centers in France earlier this month.


“This settlement will finally force the EPA to consider the impacts of glyphosate—widely known as Roundup—which is the most commonly used pesticide in the United States, on endangered species nationwide,” said Brett Hartl, CBD’s endangered species policy director. “With more than 300 million pounds of this stuff being dumped on our landscape each year, it’s hard to even fathom the damage it’s doing.”


Roundup appears to be responsible for the 90% drop in the number of monarch butterflies in the United States. The butterflies feed on milkweed, which has been just about eliminated because of Roundup use in fields near butterflies’ habitats.


Monsanto spokesman Robb Fraley said Roundup meets standards set by regulatory and health authorities. However, the EPA hasn’t ever taken a close look at glyphosate’s effect on endangered species.


Atrazine chemically castrates frogs and may be linked to increased risks of thyroid cancer, reproductive harm and birth defects in humans, according to CBD. “The EPA should have banned this years ago,” Hartl said. Up to 80 million pounds of atrazine are used each year in the United States on corn, sugarcane and sorghum, as well as lawns and golf courses.


The EPA’s agreement is only the beginning of a long, slow process. The agency has agreed to complete its assessments by 2020.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Big Win for Environmentalists Will Force EPA to Study Glyphosate (by Elizabeth Warmerdam, Courthouse News Service)

Settlement: EPA to Analyze Impacts of World’s Two Most Widely Used Pesticides on 1,500 Endangered Species (Center for Biological Diversity)

UN Report Links California’s Favorite Herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup, to Cancer (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

EPA Sued over Not Protecting Decimated Monarch Butterflies from Monsanto (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder, AllGov California)

EPA Approves Rise in Glyphosate Residue for Monsanto’s Herbicide (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Teresa 9 years ago
I do not believe we cannot stop Monsanto. We just stand by as they poison us and our children. So many people are sick now and it is going to get worse, for generations our health will continually worsen. But we don't stop them, why? I wonder were Monsanto employees to their shopping, I also wonder how the sleep at night?
Mike Stirling 9 years ago
I am a Vietnam Veteran. We flew the OV-10 Bronco on forward air control missions. That was 1968 to 1969. I went to the Bronco reunion in the 1990's and they had an Bronco aircraft converted to be used as a spray plane. I asked the young pilot what it was that they were doing with this modification and was told "pot and poppy eridacation in Colombia. I asked what it was that was being sprayed and he said it was safe, just the same as "Roundup". I mentioned "Agent Orange" He said "not the same, this is safe". I then told him that as he got older he would better understand "If it's not good for plants, it's not good for people". Well Ladies and Gentlemen you know they are going to find out that Roundup is not good for people. Good luck to all, Sincerely Mike Stirling
mary 9 years ago
why is it taking so long, a lot of damage can happen by then.
Christine Abedini 9 years ago
I don't understand how this is being looked at only for endangered species. What about humans? As stated above by a Monsanto rep it'meets standards by regulatory and health agencies', but it's still being used on our food sources. Clearly thee regulatory and health agencies are in Monsanto's deep pockets or it would have been outlawed for use already. How can we curtail this happening with the EPA?

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