Glyphosate, the chemical used in the weed killer Roundup, has been at the center of various lawsuits around the country. Glyphosate has been labeled as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). The makers of the weed killer, Monsanto / Bayer, have claimed that their product is safe, though many cities across the country have banned the chemical.
In the wake of the announcement by the WHO and the number of lawsuits, many major cities, including Seattle, have taken a defensive stance against Roundup. Seattle now uses Roundup only as a last resort on weeds that cannot be tamed and that are required by the state to be removed. However, they are not alone. Portland, Maine; Austin, Miami, and Los Angeles are among other cities that have banned or restricted glyphosate. Boston avoids using glyphosate on an unofficial basis, and New York City may ban Roundup in the future.
The movement to ban glyphosate has garnered international support. Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture has enacted a ban on agricultural chemicals that include glyphosate, joining neighbor Vietnam. Austria, Malawi, Saudi Arabia, Bermuda, and 10 Canadian provinces have restricted or banned glyphosate. France and Germany (Bayer’s home country) have plans to phase out the product by 2022 and 2023, respectively.
While federal regulators in the U.S. have not taken a stance against Bayer, municipal and county governments continue to pursue glyphosate bans or restrictions of their own. If you need more information, contact John Tomlinson in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section.
This story appears in the December 2019 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.