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Farm Bill Could Stymie Local Bans on Glyphosate, Other Pesticides


Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation that could nullify dozens of local ordinances banning the use of glyphosate-based weed killer at playgrounds and school yards across the nation.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and has been designated a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Provision of Farm Bill Could Overturn 50+ City and County Glyphosate Bans

According to a September 5th statement from the Environmental Working Group, over 50 county and city ordinances have been enacted throughout the United States that ban the use of Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides at local playgrounds, parks and schoolyards.

However, Sec. 9101 of the Farm Bill currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives would  preempt any local governments from adopting their own pesticide regulations, including bans on glyphosate-based weed killers like Roundup.

If the Farm Bill passes in its current form, those 50+ ordinances could be overturned.

Bayer, Monsanto Among Chemical Companies Lobbying to Kill Community Pesticide Bans

“Children are especially susceptible to the health impacts of toxic pesticides, so our communities should be able to decide whether our kids are rolling around in weed killers linked to cancer while playing at the park,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Section 9101 of the House farm bill would block our communities from keeping our kids safe.”

Section 9101 is opposed by the National League of Cities and the National Association of County Officials.

107 members of the House have also sent a letter to the Farm Bill conferees voicing opposition to pesticide riders, such as the one included in the Farm Bill.

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year, has lobbied hard to kill community pesticide bans, as have other chemical companies, including Dow and CropLife America.

Roundup Lawsuit Plaintiff Awarded $289 Million for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Monsanto is currently facing about 8,000 Roundup lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals, or their surviving loved ones, who are alleged to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers due to glyphosate exposure.

Bayer and Monsanto deny the existence of any such link.

However, in August, a California jury ruled otherwise, awarding $289 million to a former school district groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup and similar Monsanto weed killers at least 20 to 30 times a year in the course of his career.

The case was the first Roundup lawsuit to go to trial in the United States, with the jury finding unanimously for the plaintiff.

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