Miami, Florida has become the latest city to ban glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Miami City Council approved the glyphosate ban last Thursday. Specifically, the resolution prohibits the city and its contractors from using Roundup or any other herbicides that contain the allegedly cancer-causing chemical.
According to the Miami New Times, the resolution was sponsored by Commissioner Ken Russell. He apparently began looking into the city’s use of herbicides after a wave of blue-green algae blooms, red tide, and fecal contamination plagued the coastal city. Russell found that Miami had previously used 4,800 gallons of glyphosate products per year to kill weeds on the streets and sidewalks.
Although the city’s public works department had recently stopped using glyphosate, Russell wanted to make the glyphosate ban official policy.
“Water quality issues are so important to the city of Miami, and we can be one of the worst polluters as a municipality,” he said. “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.”
Glyphosate is the most popular weed killer in the world. Monsnato brought glyphosate to market in the 1970s. Today, millions farmers, landscapers, groundskeepers, and home gardeners in the United States and elsewhere rely on Monsanto Roundup products.
In March 2015, however, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The declaration followed an exhaustive and independent review that specifically linked glyphosate exposure to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and its various subtypes.
Several other Florida cities, including Miami Beach and Stuart, have since decided to impose their own glyphosate ban.
Monsanto denies any contention that glyphosate causes cancer. Last month, however, a study published in “Mutation Research” suggested that glyphosate exposure increased the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by as much as 41%.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, is now facing more than 11,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits in courts nationwide. The first trial of a Roundup lawsuit concluded last August, when a San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded $289 million to a former California groundskeeper with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the presiding judge later cut the massive verdict to $78 million to comply with California limits on punitive damages.
The nation’s second Roundup cancer trial is currently underway in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The plaintiff allegedly used “large volumes” of Roundup on his property starting in 1980s, and continued doing so until he received his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in 2015.