Regulatory Requirements For Companies Using Products with Glyphosate

Regulatory Requirements For Companies Using Products with Glyphosate

In July 2017, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added glyphosate to the list of chemicals subject to warning requirements under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). In August 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement calling the Proposition 65 warning “misleading,” recommending that businesses amend their labeling to remove the warning.

This statement created regulatory confusion for manufacturers and distributors of products made with glyphosate.

Regulatory Requirements for Products Made With Glyphosate

Proposition 65 requires companies selling into California to provide a warning when a product contains substances identified as causing cancer or birth defects. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The OEHHA cited this ruling when adding glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list. Glyphosate is used in herbicides for residential, commercial and agricultural purposes. While the EPA maintains responsibility for registering pesticides, it does not supercede Proposition 65 requirements for in-scope businesses. Companies selling products containing glyphosate in California will still be required to issue warnings in accordance with the regulation.

The EPA does not concur with the assessment of IARC and OEHHA and does not classify glyphosate as a carcinogen. The agency has stated that the Proposition 65 warning statement is “misbranded” and thus does not meet the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a requirement when registering new pesticides. The EPA says they will no longer approve labelling that includes the Proposition 65 warning statement for products with glyphosate.


Learn about your requirements under Proposition 65 by downloading Your Guide to Understanding Proposition 65 Labeling Requirements.


The Legal Cases Involving Glyphosate

Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides. Roundup was the focus of highly-publicized lawsuits that resulted in multi-million dollar judgements against Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer. These lawsuits and rulings show a real legal and financial risk to companies using glyphosate without proper warnings.

However, an agricultural coalition of large producers and business organizations have filed a motion for summary judgement against the Proposition 65 ruling on glyphosate.

There is precedence for the OEHHA removing a substance from the Proposition 65 list, notably saccharin, which was listed in 1989 and removed in 2001. Under Proposition 65, chemicals may be delisted following recommendations from state-qualified experts.

How Assent Can Help

Assent Compliance, the global leader in supply chain data management, provides a cost-effective solution for companies in scope of Proposition 65. The Assent Compliance Platform automates the data collection process required for proper labeling and centralizes the data for easier risk identification and assessment. Learn more by contacting us at info@assentcompliance.com.

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