Calif. Glyphosate Case Appealed to Ninth Circuit

A case surrounding a requirement to provide cancer warning labels on products containing glyphosate, including Roundup herbicide, was appealed to Ninth Circuit on Friday. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed the notice of the appeal on Wednesday in the Eastern District of California case.

The district court ruled in favor of Monsanto and other agriculture companies and associations in the case in June, saying that the companies did not need to include a cancer warning on glyphosate-based products. This court ruled that there was not sufficient evidence that glyphosate causes cancer to merit the warning requirement.

The plaintiffs argued that the Attorney General violated the First Amendment of the Constitution by compelling Monsanto to make statements claiming that their product causes cancer when they allegedly do not have scientific proof of that fact. Judge William Shubb said in his order that providing a potentially misleading or false label would undermine “California’s interest in accurately informing its citizens of health risks.”

The appeal also relates to an order filed on August 11, which dismissed two claims of the plaintiff’s first amended complaint, but granted them permission to refile the claims if the Ninth Circuit remands the matter to the same court. The two claims alleged violations of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Monsanto has faced numerous lawsuits claiming that the chemical has caused injuries and death to people who used the product. Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, agreed to pay $10 billion to resolve these claims. Additionally, a farmer’s association is trying to get the product taken off of shelves claiming that it is harmful to health.

Monsanto is represented by Latham & Watkins and Arnold & Porter, the Western Plant Health Association is represented by Kahn, Soares & Conway, and the remaining plaintiffs are represented by Husch Blackwell. Xavier Becerra is represented by Harrison M. Pollack and Laura Zuckerman with the Office of the Attorney General.