Stop Using Roundup on Cupertino Fields

Stop Using Roundup on Cupertino Fields

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Todd Kushnir started this petition to City of Cupertino

How can Cupertino abandon weedkillers altogether for the health of our habitat and our citizens? 

Herbicide use works against public motivations for visitings parks as well as the goals stated in the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Improving access to nature and conservation are the number one priorities listed on the department’s plan, as listed on pages 16 and 30. Page 37 lists a variety of specific actions the city wants to use to attract wildlife, many of which may be observed at local elementary schools. These include native plants and nesting facilities for birds and bees. These goals are to be applauded and supported.

Whatever measure we take, the simple fact remains that every time the School District or City sprays herbicides, this habitat building work is being undone. Many of the weeds these poisons target are actually used by butterfly species such as the Painted Lady studied by second graders across the district.

The data on insect population collapse on a global scale is startling, and it is linked to glyphosate use. There is clear evidence that the glyphosate compounds in RoundUp, a widely used herbicide, are responsible for honeybee population declines internationally. On a more local level, the West Coast population of Monarch butterflies has dropped 86%. We have had milkweed planted across our school yards for years, but never have students had the chance to witness the miracle of monarch metamorphosis. And still we spray!

There is a toll to people from pesticides beyond not seeing butterflies. If herbicides are harmful to plants, and pesticides harmful to animals, then their harm to humans seems to follow. A recent University of Washington study found that exposure to glyphosates increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma by 40%.

An Oakland groundskeeper who worked regularly with Roundup was awarded nine-figure damages; he is in the final stages of terminal lymphoma. Spraying puts both the City employees charged with using them, as well as park users, at risk. It also exposes the City to large litigation. And still we spray!

There are alternatives to spraying. Santa Rosa, Menlo Park, and Burbank have recently abandoned the use of herbicides after a year long pilot program. It would take time, money, and creativity to make this happen, but the costs of not doing so are too great to ignore.

So why did the EPA decide not ban it? Well, Monsanto, which owns Roundup, spent nearly $4 million on lobbying last year. You see, even when it comes to toxic chemicals, the influence of massive corporations has a corrosive effect on our democracy.

To make a difference, Contact Brian Gathers in Cupertino City Hall at 408-777-3270 (briang@cupertino.org)  and ask him to consider alternatives to spraying these harmful chemicals where our kids play.  Finally, please sign the petition if you want to stop the spraying of these harmful chemicals, and save the health of our little ones and our environment. 

 

 

 

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At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!