For Immediate Release: April 19, 2016
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
EPA Admits Widespread Misuse of Roundup Herbicide Must Stop
Confirms that Label Says People & Pets Must Be Kept Away Until Spray is Dried
Groups Demand Immediate National Street Closures & Barriers for Safety
Washington, DC - The EPA’s recent review of the labeling of the herbicide Roundup has major implications nationwide. Announced by Mom Across America activist Anne Temple at the January Monsanto shareholder meeting as a point of concern, the widespread misuse of glyphosate based herbicides is practiced in nearly every town of Ameria. On December 29th, the federal EPA Office of Pesticides Program in Washington DC confirmed that they expect all applicators of Roundup, which contains glyphosate, and any other herbicides to adhere to labels which requires them to take all necessary measures to "keep people and pets away until the solution dries." Since then, reports of spring spraying and misuse have been cited across the country. Moms Across America and Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE) are asking county Ag Commissioners to discontinue the use of glyphosate based herbicides, but until those steps are taken, they are demanding immediate street closures & caution tape barriers in public areas that have been sprayed with Roundup.
This landmark determination means that city road workers, school maintenance, homeowner associations, university landscapers and individual homeowners, need to comply with the label directions or risk fines and/or lawsuits. To comply with the law accurately they need to barricade off areas sprayed with these chemicals until they dry, which could be 45 minutes to 4-6 hours, according to professional pesticide applicators and the EPA, depending on weather conditions such as humidity and rain. Signs are not sufficient for pets, children and people who do not read English. States like Hawaii have fines and criminal penalties which apply to anybody who knowingly violates Section 191A-41 of the Hawaii Pesticides Law. Nationally and internationally, citizens and regulators should now be looking to enforce compliance with product directions.
Brad Edwards, with the group Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE), expressed cautious optimism in regards to the recent EPA determination. "With the large amount of Roundup/Glyphosate used for roadside spraying across all of our islands, this is amazing news! For years, residents in Hawaii have been begging the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to properly regulate the widespread misuse of glyphosate, but so far the Department has refused to take action against both government and private applicators. With this recent EPA ruling, the State of Hawaii will finally be forced to step in and protect members of our community from repeated exposure to this harmful chemical.”
"The fact is that cities simply cannot afford the risk of using Roundup any longer,” said Zen Honeycutt, Director of Moms Across America. “We have found glyphosate in our tap water, children’s urine, breast milk and others have found it in cereal, cotton products, beer, and wine which comes from the excessive use of Roundup on our food crops and in public areas. Internationally, the spraying of this herbicide, which has been deemed a probable carcinogen, is inhaled by people driving or walking by, and gets on the feet of pets and shoes or ankles of people walking through these areas. Chemical residues from shoes get on carpets and can then poison babies who crawl on the floor. Glyphosate has been linked to birth defects, neurotoxicity, non Hodgkin's Lymphoma etc, and mothers call for immediate action to protect our communities. We expect our officials to protect the health of our pets, citizens, city workers and our cities from harm and from lawsuits.”
We call for citizens around the world to report, file complaints with the County Ag Commissioner and file lawsuits as necessary to require public space compliance with herbicide application instructions. We also call upon city councils, schools, churches, community centers, universities and homeowners to discontinue the use of Roundup/glyphosate and toxic chemical sprays altogether and use organic, steam or mowing alternatives instead. Until these steps are taken we insist that the law and directions of the label, confirmed by the EPA, are complied with and caution tape barriers are placed around all areas sprayed with glyphosate based herbicides.
Moms Across America is a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms raising awareness about GMOs and toxins in our food and environment. Their motto is "Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids."
Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE) is a community group focused on regulatory, legislative and legal pathways to fix the broken system and protect the health of the residents of Hawai’i.
UPDATE: In August of 2018, school pesticide applicator Dwayne "Lee" Johnson, who is dying of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, was awarded 289.2 million dollars from Monsanto by a California Supreme Court jury. Monsanto was found guilty of acting with "malice and oppression," meaning they knew their glyphosate products could cause cancer and the company executives suppressed the information. As of September 2018, over 8,000 more Roundup users are filing lawsuits against Monsanto.