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Court Orders EPA to Re-Examine Ruling Over Glyphosate
USAgNet - 06/21/2022

A federal appeals court scrapped a 2020 EPA finding on the human health impacts of a chemical at the center of a pending Supreme Court petition on cancer risk from the popular Roundup weedkiller.

The opinion from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sends EPA back to work on its 2020 decision that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, does not present "any reasonable risk to man or the environment."

Environmental and rural groups "challenged EPA's decision, arguing, among other things, that EPA did not adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and shirked its duties under the Endangered Species Act," wrote Judge Michelle Friedland.

"We agree and remand to the agency for further consideration," continued the judge, an Obama appointee.

EPA's finding on the human health risk of glyphosate is at the heart of Monsanto Co.'s Supreme Court petition asking the justices to overturn a landmark $25 million jury verdict in favor of a California resident who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after years of using Roundup.

The Supreme Court could accept or reject the petition from Monsanto, now owned by Bayer AG, as soon as next week. A grant and subsequent ruling in the company's favor in Monsanto v. Hardeman could potentially upend thousands of similar lawsuits over the company's failure to warn about the product's cancer risks.

While EPA has said it has not found evidence of cancer risk from glyphosate, the Biden administration has said it plans to revisit the issue. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as "probably carcinogenic."

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