Farmers and conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit on Friday challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Monsanto’s pesticide. The approval of the pesticide company’s latest version of the older weed-killer permits it to be sprayed directly on Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE).
Because these same crops are also engineered to withstand applications of Monsanto’s Roundup, the overuse of that pesticide (containing the active ingredient glyphosate) will continue at current high levels.
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“Federal regulators have abandoned the interests of farmers, the environment, and public health,” said George Kimbrell, of the Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case. “We won’t allow our food to be dragged backward into a pesticide-soaked nightmare – not without a hell of a fight.”
Roundup is linked to increased rates of cancer in farmers and birth defects, while glyphosate was recently classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.
“Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops created an environmental disaster by causing infestation of tens of millions of acres of farmland with herbicide-resistant weeds and spurring an enormous increase in pesticide use,” said Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff.
The plaintiff organizations bringing the lawsuit are National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, and Center for Biological Diversity, represented jointly by legal counsel from Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety.