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Those concerns are part of the reason that the city of Miami passed a unanimous resolution last Thursday banning the spraying of glyphosate by city departments or contractors, environmental group Miami Waterkeeper reported.
"Banning the use of glyphosate is a great first step to take in improving water quality," the group said, according to The Miami New Times. "It is also beneficial to public health, as citizens of the city of Miami won't be exposed to harmful chemicals."
Miami officials are specifically concerned that runoff containing glyphosate might have contributed to the recent blue-green algae bloom and red tide that impacted the state last year.
This is the reason that Miami Commissioner Ken Russell began to look into the city's use of herbicides. He spoke to Miami Director of Resiliency and Public Works Alan Dodd, who told him that the city had been using 4,800 gallons of glyphosate a year to kill weeds on Miami's streets and sidewalks. Dodd stopped this particular use of the herbicide, but Russell decided to sponsor a ban so that other departments would also stop using the controversial weedkiller..
"Water quality issues are so important to the city of Miami, and we can be one of the worst polluters as a municipality," Russell told The Miami New Times. "We ask for residents to make a change in their habits and that they be conscious of what they put in their gardens, but when I realized the totality of what the city uses at any given time, we had to change our habits."
The resolution went into effective immediately after its passage, The Miami New Times reported, and was co-sponsored by Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, according to Miami Waterkeeper.
Waterkeeper Waterkeeper explained further why herbicides were harmful to waterways and marine environments:
Herbicides and fertilizers are often applied in excess to lawns and landscapes and can be lost to the environment in stormwater runoff and can degrade the water quality of streams, rivers, canals, lakes, and coastal waters. They can also contribute to the creation of harmful algal blooms and the destruction of critically important habitats like sea grass beds and coral reefs.
The cities of Miami Beach and Stuart have also banned glyphosate.
Miami's decision came three days after a study found glyphosate in 19 of 20 popular U.S. beers and wines tested and the same month that another study found that those frequently exposed to glyphosate were 41 percent more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that glyphosate does not cause cancer in humans, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer ruled it was a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
The first U.S. federal trial claiming Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer also began in February.
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By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.