Crops News SmartNews

EPA requests a rehearing on glyphosphate


Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency submitted a petition for a partial rehearing to the Ninth Court of Appeals regarding glyphosate. The agency says they cannot comply with court orders from the June 17 ruling on the interim decision.

The ruling vacated the interim decision’s human health risk assessment and returned the ecological risk assessment to the EPA. The agency will now have to complete an Endangered Species Act analysis by October 1 regarding the remand of the ecological portion of the interim decision.

On June 17, the EPA was ordered to examine whether Bayer AG’s Roundup weed killer (of which glyphosate is the active ingredient) poses risks to humans and the environment. In a unanimous vote, the court said that the EPA didn’t adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and threatens endangered species.

»Related: New study shows no evidence that glyphosate affects bumble bees

According to the EPA, the court panel’s directive to complete a new ecological risk assessment can’t be done. They say an ESA consultation takes years — not the 106 days the panel granted them. The Environmental Protection Agency is also saying that an ESA consultation requires coordination with other agencies, namely, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Because these other agencies are not parties to the lawsuit, the EPA says they aren’t subject to the court orders, and that they cannot meet the October 1 deadline.

The request for rehearing asks for a removal of the October 1 deadline. The American Soybean Association reports that the agency requested the court to vacate the interim decision in its entirety because of their inability to comply with the order as it currently reads. 

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart, Flickr

Glyphosate has been under scrutiny for years. However, a mainstay in agricultural operations due to its broad spectrum efficacy against weeds and relative inactive nature in the soil, litigation, and scrutiny by activists has kept the herbicide in the news.

»Related: EPA reaffirms no human health risk from glyphosate has been found

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as carcinogenic to humans, a finding that has been under scrutiny in the years since. A year after the IARC’s classification, a groundskeeper for a San Francisco Bay school claimed exposure to Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In 2017, the EPA determined that it was likely not carcinogenic to humans. Bayer currently has tens of thousands of unsettled claims of Lymphoma, and over 100,000 that have already been settled.

Sponsored Content on AGDaily
Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.