More than a half century ago, the World Health Assembly established the International Agency for Research on Cancer as the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization. Although headquartered in Lyon, France, the IARC has a critical role under California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka Proposition 65) which relies on the IARC to identify known carcinogens pursuant to Labor Code § 6382.
Monsanto Company challenged IARC's role under Proposition 65 as violating Article II, § 12 which provides:
"No amendment to the Constitution, and no statute proposed to the electors by the Legislature or by initiative, that . . . names or identifies any private corporation to perform any function or to have any power or duty, may be submitted to the electors of have any effect."
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal found that the IARC's formation as an intergovernmental agency under international law and its oversight and general management by United States and foreign government agents demonstrate that the IARC is not a private corporation under Article II, § 12. Monsanto Co. v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment; California Citrus Mutual; Center for Food Safety, 2017 Cal. LEXIS 4696. The remarkable denouement of this holding is that foreign private citizens working for an agency under international control are empowered to make decisions for the State of California.