Woot! Los Angeles County Bans Use of Roundup Weedkiller

Roundup, the popular weed-killer linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, will not be sprayed in Los Angeles County for now after its Board of Supervisors issued a moratorium on the application of the herbicide, citing a need for more research into its potential health and environmental effects. [1]

The board asked the Department of Public Works to team up with other health officials to survey the use of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup.

In August 2018, a San Francisco jury ordered Bayer to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million in the world’s first Roundup trial. That amount was later reduced to $78.5 million. The groundskeeper had alleged in his lawsuit that exposure to glyphosate caused his terminal cancer. Then, on March 19, another San Francisco jury concluded that Roundup caused another man’s cancer. The moratorium in Los Angeles County was issued the same day.

In 2017, glyphosate was added to California’s list of carcinogenic substances under the state’s Proposition 65 law.

LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended the ban, saying:

“I am asking county departments to stop the use of this herbicide until public health and environmental professionals can determine if it’s safe for further use in LA County and explore alternative methods for vegetation management.”

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl co-authored the motion, which cites “a growing body of scientific study” of herbicide safety and its potential health effects. [2]

Kuehl said:

“In a 2015 study led by 17 experts from 11 countries, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate should be classified as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans.’ That conclusion makes it imperative that we question any long-term use of this controversial herbicide, and that’s exactly what this motion calls for.”

Monsanto has strongly contested the IARC’s conclusion.

In a statement, Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook applauded the moratorium. [1]

“Kicking Bayer-Monsanto and its cancer-causing weedkiller off LA County property was absolutely the right call. We know glyphosate causes cancer in people and shouldn’t be sprayed anywhere – period.”

A report is expected back in 30 days. [2]

Sources:

[1] U.S. News & World Report

[2] NBC Los Angeles