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Bayer Wins Ruling Blocking California’s Roundup Warning

  • Judge finalizes 2018 finding that warning violates free speech
  • Prop. 65 listing also exposes Bayer to litigation, judge says
Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
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Bayer AG’s Roundup won’t require a label in California warning consumers that a chemical in the weed killer is known to cause cancer.

A federal judge in Sacramento on Monday ruled for Bayer and blocked the state from requiring that any company selling a glyphosate-based produce place a “clear and reasonable warning” on it.

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment listed glyphosate in July 2017 as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer. Bayer’s Monsanto unit has aggressively fought California’s move to add glyphosate to a list created by a voter-approved ballot initiative, Proposition 65, that requires explicit warnings for consumer products containing substances that may cause cancer or birth defects.

U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb on Monday made final his 2018 preliminary ruling that requiring Bayer to provide the warning on Roundup is a violation of its free-speech protections. The International Agency for the Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has found glyphosate is likely to cause cancer but Shubb said others, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, found otherwise.