A message from ACAT Executive Director Pamela Miller
Have you walked into one of the big box stores or local garden stores lately? It’s astonishing to see the shelves and shelves of pesticidal products offered for use on lawns and gardens. Herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, miticides . . . yikes! And, of course, these are manufactured and promoted by such infamous chemical corporations as Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and Dupont. Don’t we need this stuff to control weeds, insects, and other “pests?” There is a better way! I urge you to check out Yarducopia and our organic gardening classes to learn more.
Let’s look at the recent findings about glyphosate, the most heavily used pesticide in the world and the active ingredient in Roundup. Glyphosate is a broad spectrum contact herbicide. Over the past twenty years, the use of glyphosate increased at a faster rate than any other pesticide. In 2014, approximately 240 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides were used on agricultural lands in the U.S., and now found in our rivers, lakes, streams, and foods. Glyphosate is widely used on lawns and gardens in formulations such as Roundup.
If it’s on the shelf for sale at a local store, doesn’t that mean it is safe? Certainly not! The EPA review of many pesticidal products, including glyphosate, is insufficient, outdated, and heavily industry-biased.
A recent 2015 review by the expert committee of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf.
In February of 2016, a number of distinguished scientists published a Consensus Statement of Concern about glyphosate, drawing on emerging scientific evidence. https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0. The Consensus Statement determined that: “Collectively, studies from laboratory animals, human populations, and domesticated animals suggest that current levels of exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can induce adverse health outcomes.” Studies indicate associations with: liver and kidney damage, reproductive impairment, birth defects, and certain cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
There are safe alternatives to the use of pesticides, including herbicides such as Roundup. Let’s all do what we can to protect the health of our families, watersheds, and communities and eliminate the use of Roundup and other harmful chemicals!