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Supes. Fletcher and Jacob Take Action to Protect Public Health, Push for County to use Alternatives to Roundup Weed Killer

02/25/20

Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Dianne Jacob are taking action to protect public health and the environment by introducing policy at the Wednesday Board meeting to prohibit the County from using weed killers like Roundup that have been linked to rare cancers.  

“We are taking action to protect the public and our planet from the dangers of the harmful toxin glyphosate, a chemical found in products like Roundup,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “Using organic alternatives is a better way.”

The County’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program’s current practice allows for the use of pesticides containing chemicals if all non-chemical options have been reviewed and are not considered feasible. Approval will revise the existing policy, identify organic alternatives and have staff bring the implementation plan back to the Board in 120 days.

“We owe it to the community to try to eliminate the risk of exposure to glyphosate on county properties, including along roads, in our parks and other infrastructure,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “There are smarter, safer alternatives that are better for public health.”

There is growing evidence that glyphosate is linked to rare cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last year, the first lawsuit connecting Roundup with cancer risk went to trial and was settled for $289.2 million. A second lawsuit was settled for more than $86 million. A third lawsuit was settled for $80 million. These landmark rulings reflect growing scientific evidence and shifting attitudes around continued use of the toxic chemical. Thousands of cases are still pending, and the number of lawsuits continues to grow.

Four County departments currently use glyphosate - Agriculture, Weights & Measurements, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of General Services, and Department of Public Works. The use of glyphosate is a relatively small percentage of overall pesticide use by the County.