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NAWG filed suit in November 2017 challenging Proposition 65, which would label glyphosate as a carcinogen.

January 4, 2018

3 Min Read

The National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association and the United States Durum Growers Association, et al. filed a complaint on Nov. 15, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) Director Lauren Zeise and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra challenging California’s Proposition 65, which would label glyphosate as a carcinogen. Proposition 65 is called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is seeking to prevent the defendants from mandating "false, misleading and highly controversial cancer warnings concerning the herbicide glyphosate on a wide variety of food, agricultural, industrial and lawn and garden products."

The suit states that OEHHA issued a determination in July that glyphosate was added to the chemicals "known to the state to cause cancer."

"California’s listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen and the attendant warning requirement violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by compelling plaintiffs and other entities to make false, misleading and highly controversial statements about their products. The listing and warning requirement also conflict with, and are preempted by, the FDCA (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), and violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment," the suit states.

The plaintiffs seek preliminary and permanent injunctions against the defendants regulations related to glyphosate, plus costs, attorneys' fees, and expenses, and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper. They are represented by Catherine L. Hanaway, Matthew T. Schelp, Natalie Holder and Christopher C. Miles of Husch Blackwell in St. Louis; Ann M. Grottveit of Kahn, Soares & Conway LLP in Sacramento, California; and others.

It was announced on Jan. 3, 2018, that several Attorneys General have filed an amicus brief in support of the preliminary injunction sought by agriculture groups against California’s Prop 65 regulation. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce filed their own amicus brief in support of the preliminary injunction to halt the regulation. 

“We are pleased that attorneys general from across the country are standing up for agriculture and consumers by standing against this unconstitutional action by California,” said Gordon Stoner, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers.  “California’s flawed Prop 65 requirement will cause irreparable harm to the agriculture economy impacting American farmers and consumers everywhere. AGOur coalition is growing with the support of these attorneys general as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and California Chamber of Commerce who are supporting our efforts to immediately halt this flawed action.”

The amicus brief, filed by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, includes Attorneys General Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Curtis Hill of Indiana, Thomas Miller of Iowa, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Bill Schuette of Michigan, Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Mike Hunter of Oklahoma, Marty Jackley of South Dakota and Brad Schimel of Wisconsin.

The National Association of Wheat Growers are the lead plaintiff in the case against California filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The plaintiffs include the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, the Agricultural Retailers Association, Associated Industries of Missouri, Iowa Soybean Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CropLife America, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association and United States Durum Growers Association.  In December, the group filed a temporary injunction asking the court to halt the regulation.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California case number 2:17-cv-02401-WBS-EFB

Source: Legal NewsLine, National Association of Wheat Growers

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