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U.S. Right to Know v. EPA (2018)

In May 2018, we filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on behalf of U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit that works to advance transparency in the nation’s food system, and its research director, journalist Carey Gillam. The action challenges EPA’s failure to respond to two longstanding FOIA requests.

Glyphosate is a synthetic chemical used in agricultural crop production to kill weeds. It is also a popular herbicide for use on lawns and gardens, business and municipal properties, and golf courses, and is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides. In 2016, U.S. Right to Know discovered that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had decided to begin testing foods, food products, and grains for the presence of glyphosate residue. In July of that year, U.S. Right to Know filed a request for records relating to such testing with EPA. In nearly two years, EPA has not provided U.S. Right to Know with a response.

U.S. Right to Know filed a second FOIA request in February 2017, seeking communications between EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs and representatives of CropLife America, a trade association of pesticide and herbicide manufacturers and distributors.  EPA has not responded to that request either.

After the lawsuit was filed, EPA produced thousands of pages of documents responsive to both the requests in fall 2018.  The parties then agreed to dismiss the lawsuit.