City should reverse Roundup policy
I did not remember that the Sonoma City Council had permitted the use of Roundup on the bike path and in city parks. This policy should be reviewed and reversed as soon as possible. Areas where children, pets and people play or exercise for their health should not be sprayed with toxins. The usual excuse, that it’s cheaper to use Roundup than to hire people to weed or weed whack the areas, is the same kind of short-sightedness that tends to put money before health and profit before safety.
This “cheaper” option has many hidden costs. As the editor of this paper noted, cumulative exposure and the long-term effects of toxins like Roundup are unknown because most of these chemicals have not been adequately tested. There was a time when DDT was touted as safe. Might that have been sprayed along the bike path in an earlier year?
Monsanto, the corporation that makes Roundup, says it can feed the world with genetically engineered foods. Unfortunately, their expert and incessant public relations campaigns have convinced too many people of their presumed safety.
Mega corporations like Monsanto have lobbyists working non-stop to influence policy without the bother of having to prove the safety of their products. Monsanto has also copyrighted the seeds it sells to farmers so that they cannot grow next year’s crop using this year’s seeds. Farmers who purchase Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds (GMOs) find themselves in a type of indentured servitude to the Monsanto empire. This looks like agricultural totalitarianism, which is a dangerous threat to a healthy and diverse food supply. GMOs have also not been adequately tested as to their effects on human health, but they are touted by lobbyists and the media as the way to feed the world.
We do not have to accept Monsanto’s savior myth that they have the one way that is going to feed the world, or that Roundup is safe when its chemical basis, glyphosate, has not been adequately tested. Initial testing, however, does not bode well for the chemical’s safety.
In safeguarding our health, we should question more and demand adequate testing of chemicals and genetically-modified foods before they are dumped on us. In the meantime, the Sonoma City Council would do well to protect our community from unnecessary toxins and reverse the Roundup policy on public property.
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Georgia Kelly lives in Sonoma where she is director of the Praxis Peace Institute.