A national coalition of agriculture groups led by the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) is seeking to immediately halt the California state’s misguided labeling requirement for glyphosate, citing irreparable harm to American farmers, consumers and the nation’s agriculture economy. The agriculture coalition has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in response to California’s flawed Prop 65 regulation, which requires the labeling of products that may contain the herbicide glyphosate.
“California’s flawed Prop 65 requirement will cause irreparable harm to the agriculture economy impacting American farmers and consumers, and we are asking the court for an injunction to immediately halt this action,” said Gordon Stoner, president of NAWG. “A significant number of wheat farmers use glyphosate and requiring a misleading and false label will fundamentally change the way farming is done in America.”
In seeking a preliminary injunction, the agriculture coalition stated they would sustain significant reputational damage if forced to falsely label their products, placing them at a competitive disadvantage and threatening the agriculture supply chain by forcing farmers to stop using their preferred method of agriculture production, which is already regulated by the federal government to ensure consumer safety. The injunction also notes that forcing agriculture coalition members to falsely label their product violates their First Amendment freedoms. Legal precedent makes clear that the loss of First Amendment freedoms, even for minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.
Included in the motion are a series of declarations by agriculture groups outlining the immediate and irreparable harm Prop 65 will cause including:
- Harming the reputation of agricultural products, crops and farming operations;
- Increasing costs of farming practices;
- Forcing the use of alternatives to glyphosate that are less effective, more labor intensive, more expensive and bad for the environment;
- Misinforming consumers and food producers;
- Demanding unrealistic new infrastructure and different packaging to segregate crops treated with glyphosate;
- Placing farmers at a competitive disadvantage; and
- Imposing high risk for expensive litigation.
In addition to the NAWG, the agriculture coalition includes the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Associated Industries of Missouri, Iowa Soybean Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association and United States Durum Growers Association. In addition, the Agricultural Retailers Association and CropLife America have joined this growing coalition of agriculture groups as plaintiffs in the case.
California’s Prop 65 mandate is based on a highly controversial and discredited opinion published by IARC, a nonregulatory organization of the World Health Organization based on Lyon, France. IARC’s opinion on glyphosate has been shown to be fundamentally flawed, as its members concealed and distorted data and studies showing the product is safe and effective.
“Glyphosate has been studied by governments and regulatory agencies in the U.S. and around the world and the science shows it is safe and effective for use in agriculture,” said Stoner. “California ignored the scientific research from all credible sources, and relied on unscientific findings from a biased, nonregulatory organization in France to force American farmers to place false labels on products that may contain glyphosate.”
Glyphosate is approved and regulated by U.S. regulatory agencies for application in over 250 agricultural crops throughout the United States.