Groups Call for Glyphosate Ban

Tacy Callies Herbicides, Legal

Citrus fruit damage due to spray contact from glyphosate application
(Photo by Mongi Zekri, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)

The Center for Food Safety on Dec. 13 petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately suspend and cancel the herbicide glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. The center filed the petition on behalf of itself, Beyond Pesticides and four farmworker advocacy groups.

Last year, in a lawsuit by the same nonprofit organizations, a federal court of appeals struck down EPA’s human health assessment because the agency wrongfully dismissed glyphosate’s cancer risk.

“There is a wealth of scientific evidence demonstrating that glyphosate endangers public health and poses cancer risks to farmers and other Roundup users,” said Pegga Mosavi, a Center for Food Safety attorney. “Glyphosate formulations are also an environmental hazard and have driven an epidemic of resistant weeds that plague farmers. After last year’s court decision, EPA has no legal legs to stand on. EPA must take action now.”

The Center for Food Safety stated that glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the world, with approximately 300 million pounds applied annually in the United States. It added that numerous studies — including many sponsored by Monsanto — show that pesticide has harmful effects on the liver, kidneys and reproductive system. Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen linked specifically with the immune system cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the center stated.

The petition calls on the EPA to suspend glyphosate use until the agency can conclude the cancellation process or can demonstrate that glyphosate meets the required safety standards in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Cancellation would make the sale and use of any product containing the chemical illegal.

In 2020, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences weed scientist said there are good reasons glyphosate is the most popular herbicide in U.S. citrus groves. In the same presentation, he said there are also concerns about glyphosate’s use. Because of the concerns, he suggested alternatives that citrus growers can consider.

Source: Center for Food Safety