L.A. County to consider ban on popular weed killer

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Raising concerns about the health and environmental effects of a popular weed killer, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said today she plans to try and stop its use by county workers until more is known.

Barger previewed a motion she plans to formally bring next week, calling for county departments to stop using glyphosate — a main ingredient in the herbicide brand called “Roundup” — until its effects on people, animals and the environment can be further studied.

“I am asking county departments to stop the use of this herbicide until public health and environmental professionals can determine if it’s safe for further use in L.A. County and explore alternative methods for vegetation management,” Barger said.

Roundup was developed decades ago by Monsanto Co., now owned by Bayer, and is believed to be the most widely-used herbicide worldwide.

Barger cited “a growing body of scientific study” of herbicide safety and the potential for negative impacts.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen in 2015.

That finding has been disputed by Monsanto and other critics, some of whom claim one of the researchers excluded key information.

The European Food Safety Agency does not agree with the WHO, but a recent court ruling requires that safety agency to disclose the details of its studies in support of that finding.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the weed killer has low toxicity for humans and concluded in 2017 that it is not likely to cause cancer in humans. California disagrees and tried unsuccessfully to force the company to label the weed killer with a warning.

A jury decision is pending in a federal lawsuit brought against Bayer by a Sonoma man alleging that Roundup caused his non-Hodgkins lymphoma. That suit, underway in San Francisco, is one of hundreds against the company.

Barger wants the Agricultural Commission, which has set protocols for use of the chemical in accordance with federal and state regulations, to study the issue along with public health, public works and parks and recreation personnel.

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