This past spring the World Heath Organization concluded that glyphosate, the world's most widely used pesticide, is a "probable carcinogen" and should be labelled as such. Several lawsuits have recently been filed against Monsanto, the maker of glyphosate herbicides (trade name "Roundup"), for allegedly causing cancer in agricultural workers who regularly use Roundup. And an MIT researcher has correlated rising glyphosate use with rising rates of autism in children. Nevertheless, many city governments, such as San Francisco, are still spraying glyphosate all over public parks, outside of schools, in places where children and pets play.
I was recently walking through my neighborhood public park in San Francisco (where my little boy goes to nursery school), and found signs posted all around the playground, soccer field and nursery school announcing that glyphosate will be sprayed next week. These signs were in wooded areas with mulch and dirt on the ground, no weeds anywhere in site. It appears to be a preventive campaign simply to stop anything from growing in these areas, perhaps just a routine "general maintenance" initiative.
A few of my local neighbors have mentioned to me that their dogs who once played freely in this particular park came down with unusual mouth and nose cancers, and now they believe this San Francisco government practice of spraying Roundup in this park is the reason for this.
If this sounds like just a local issue within San Francisco, it is not. Roundup/glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and city governments, organizations and companies spray it EVERYWHERE as a cost-effective approach to weed removal. Glyphosate may have an important place in agriculture (another debate entirely), but a possibly-carcinogenic pesticide should not be sprayed thoughtlessly around schools and public parks for no good reason. It is too much of a gamble with our public health.
Please help me make our public spaces safer, by urging lawmakers to ban the use of glyphosate in schools, playgrounds and public parks.
- Lieutenant Governor of California
Urge lawmakers to ban dangerous pesticide use at schools and public parks
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