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Big news about Glyphosate to share with your state legislators

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2019 June Issue Newsletter

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director

There’s been so much good/bad news about glyphosate recently (good for Life, bad for biocide backers), it’s been hard to keep up. (This news stream updated almost daily.) We have some recent major developments to share with you, the Mass. organic movement, in hopes that you will share these updates with your state elected officials and call for action on glyphosate!

Short on time? Use this form to send a message about glyphosate to legislators within seconds.

          HEADLINES:

State legislators are considering several pieces of legislation which would restrict the use of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) and return power to local governments to protect their communities from pesticides. Please contact your state senator and representative this month (you can look them up here), share with them some of the recent news (summarized below), and ask them to support swift passage of any/all the below pesticide bills:

  • S.447/H.776 - An Act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides
    • This bill would return power to communities to protect their families, food and water from pesticide exposure.
  • H.791 - An Act relative to improving pesticide protections for Massachusetts schoolchildren
    • This bill updates the list of pesticides eligible for use on the outdoor grounds of schools and childcare centers and would allow only pesticides considered minimum risk by EPA, or certified organic (eliminating glyphosate).
  • S.499 - An Act relative to the use of glyphosate on public lands
    • This bill would end the application of any glyphosate-based herbicide on any public lands owned or maintained by the Commonwealth without a special permit
  • H.792 - An Act relative to the prohibition of the transfer or use of glyphosate in the Commonwealth
    • This full glyphosate ban prohibits the distribution, sale or use of glyphosate or any products containing glyphosate within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

All of these bills will face firm opposition from the well-heeled chemical lobbyists. However, we do have many allies in the legislature (especially among the newest legislators!) who want to take action on pesticides, so please let them know you have their back and give them some things to talk about with their colleagues.

Want some quick action? Use this form to send a message about glyphosate to legislators within seconds.

Bayer/santo sued for $2bn in landmark glyphosate cancer case

A California jury ordered Bayer to pay a whopping two billion dollars to a couple who claimed decades of exposure to the glyphosate in Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s the third trial Bayer has lost over claims that the weed killer is carcinogenic, and the most costly yet for the German company. Bayer’s stocks have tumbled more than 60% since it acquired Monsanto in 2018, and their CEO faced a revolt and vote of “no confidence” at their recent annual shareholders meeting.

"The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate," remarked Ken Cook, of the Environmental Working Group. More than 13,000 similar lawsuits are still waiting to be heard.

In addition to the latest science demonstrating links between glyphosate and cancer, the jurors in this trial were allowed to review a trove of internal Monsanto communications and records demonstrating the company’s manipulation of the science, including ghostwriting several papers published in scientific journals and campaigns to discredit scientists who find links between glyphosate and cancer. While Bayer’s lawyers cited the recent EPA statement that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer, the jury also reviewed evidence of Monsanto’s efforts to influence federal regulators, and lax oversight at the EPA.

We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation” a domestic policy adviser at the White House said, according to a 2018 internal Monsanto email filed as evidence in the trial.

In an apparent attempt to send a strong message to the chemical giant that they can’t keep doing this, the jury awarded $2bn in punitive damages in addition to $55 million in compensation to the elderly couple.

Glyphosate linked to human liver disease

In yet another new study, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report an association between glyphosate and negative effects upon the human liver. In a study of two human patient groups, glyphosate residues were significantly higher in patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“Now what?”

Will the outcomes and findings of these landmark lawsuits and mounting independent science help convince state legislators that they can’t rely on federal regulators and Bayer/santo’s junk science? Please give them a call and try to help convince them! If they hear from enough of us, they’ll realize that it’s time to take action.

Remember, you can always find more articles and news to share on the Facebook page of our partners at Regeneration Massachusetts as well as on this glyphosate news feed that we are curating, here.

 Want to take local action on glyphosate, promote organic land care and protect pollinators? Take a look at our local organizing “All ‘Cides” campaign and consider joining our next monthly local leaders teleconference and get active in your local community.

NOFA/Mass Partners with HRI Labs

How much glyphosate are you being exposed to? Are you curious to know if your glyphosate levels will drop dramatically after going organic for a week? Health Research Institute (HRI) labs, an accredited chemical testing lab, has developed home test kits for glyphosate in both water and urine. NOFA/Mass is partnering with HRI to provide these tests to our members at a discount.

Given that this price is cost prohibitive for some, we will put all proceeds of this affiliate program toward scholarships for free testing.

Be sure to use this link to learn more about these tests, and use the discount code “NOFAMASS” for $10 off a testing kit when you order.  

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