SACRAMENTO, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and other herbicides, will be labeled as cancer-causing, California's environmental agency said.
The California Environmental Protection Agency announced in an official "notice of intent" that the chemical will be considered as "known to cause cancer." The notice comes after the World Health Organization linked glyphosate to cancer in humans and to the sudden global decline in the number of Monarch butterflies; a recent scientific study suggested long-term exposure to small amounts of glyphosate can lead to liver and kidney problems.
Tetrachlorvinphos, parathion and malathion were also on the list, released Saturday, of probable cancer-causing chemicals.
The Monsanto Corp., manufacturers of the herbicide Roundup, has contended the product is non-carcinogenic and has claimed the WHO study is flawed.
"California's taking an important step toward protecting people and wildlife from this toxic pesticide. It's nearly impossible for people to limit exposure to this toxin because it is just so widespread. That's why we need much tighter controls on its use," said Nathan Donley, of the San Francisco-based non-profit organization Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. He added nearly 250 million pounds of glyphosate are used in the United States each year.