Sonoma City Council To Ban Roundup Use in City Parks

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The Sonoma City Council on December 17 voted to accept the city staff's recommendation to ban Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers in all of the city parks in California and indicated their plan to ban such herbicides from all city property including street meridians, parking lots, and the Mountain Cemetery. The move was taken considering the rising amount of evidence pointing to the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and other health issues related to contact with glyphosate.

On the same day, groundskeepers in Chatham, Massachusetts were asked to refrain from using glyphosate-based products. The restricted use and ban of the herbicide is a result of a farm bill passed in December last year which controls the agricultural laws and funding every five years. The bill issued by the U.S. House of Representatives contained a provision which would have stopped the communities from banning roundup. However, 60 officials from 39 communities and 15 states objected in a letter to the conference committee and asked to remove the provision in September.  In absence of the provision, the communities would face few legal barriers to ban the weed killer in their respective localities. Even outside the U.S., a growing number of countries are taking steps to keep Roundup out considering a 2015 report by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which added glyphosate as a carcinogen under Proposition 65. Belgium has already banned Roundup use and in close lines, France and Germany are looking forward to phase out Roundup use within the next three years.

Monsanto faces about 10,000 Roundup lawsuits filed across the U.S. involving claims that Roundup use led to NHL or other forms of cancer.

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