Two US nonprofit organizations this week filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for allegedly misleading the public by labeling its top-selling weed-killer Roundup as “target[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.”

This lawsuit claims this statement is “false, deceptive, and misleading”, because, the plaintiffs will argue, the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, “is, in fact, found in people and pets”.

Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association (OCA), through their attorneys, Richman LawGroup, filed jointly on behalf of the general public in Washington D.C. under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

“The unequivocal nature of Monsanto’s label claim on Roundup belies the complexity of human biology and the impact this highly toxic chemical has on the functioning of the human gut bacteria, essential to our health,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.

“Corporations must be held to a high standard when it comes to the information they include on product labels, especially when it comes to the issue of safety,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director.

The plaintiffs claim that Monsanto benefited monetarily from a false advertising campaign, “as the company knew and intended that consumers would pay more for weed killer products claiming not to target people or pets”. Accordingly, they are seeking “equitable relief on behalf of the general public, with all profits earned by Monsanto for sales of Roundup in D.C. to be deposited into a charitable fund for the raising of consumer awareness of the effects of glyphosate”.