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A DANGEROUS CHEMICAL COCKTAIL — The chemicals in Monsanto’s Roundup are seeping into our waterways, backyards and even the food we eat, putting our families and the environment at risk every day. We’re calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban Roundup unless and until it’s proven safe.
Monsanto’s Roundup Could Be Dangerous
Most of us take it for granted that the food we buy for our families and the grass our children play on at a nearby park are not putting our health at risk.
But new research, including some done by the World Health Organization (WHO), has found that Monsanto’s Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides could pose significant risks to human health.
Just how serious is the risk? The jury is still out, but there is cause for serious concern. One study by the WHO linked glyphosate — the main chemical ingredient in Roundup — to cancer at high levels of exposure. Another WHO report said the actual risk given probable exposure to glyphosate was minimal.
But Roundup is not just glyphosate. It’s a cocktail of different chemicals, and there’s mounting evidence that this cocktail could be a dangerous one:
- Multiple studies have found herbicides like Roundup were more likely to cause cell-cycle dysregulation, a hallmark of cancer, than glyphosate alone.
- A 2009 study showed that some formulations of Roundup were more toxic to human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells than glyphosate by itself.
- Another study found that one of the inert ingredients in Roundup was up to 2,000 times more toxic to cells than glyphosate.
It’s clear — we shouldn’t be exposing ourselves to something that has the potential to cause such harm. But it’s the fact that Roundup and similar herbicides are so widely used that makes this a serious threat to public health.
Roundup Isn’t Getting The Job Done
Millions of people regularly use Roundup in their backyards, and it’s commonly sprayed in areas where kids play and learn, like public parks, school playgrounds and sports fields.
But an overwhelming majority of the glyphosate used in America is on farms. That’s because Monsanto has engineered “Roundup ready” crops that are designed to withstand the chemical while still killing unwanted weeds.
The problem, however, is that these weeds have grown resistant and developed into “super weeds.” Not surprisingly, the response has been to increase the dosage and frequency of Roundup used on crops.
The result? Glyphosate is now the most widely used agricultural chemical in U.S. history. Nearly 250 million pounds of the chemical are sprayed on U.S. farms every year! And since it was introduced in 1974, 9.4 million tons of glyphosate have been sprayed worldwide.
Meanwhile, Monsanto continues to back the herbicide. At one time Monsanto claimed that Roundup was biodegradable. Studies show a different story, however, as these chemical ingredients are starting to show up in our food and bodies. A recent study discovered traces of glyphosate in the urine of 93 percent of the people they tested. It’s even showing up in foods like soy and beer.
This is not a sustainable solution, and with the mounting evidence clearly showing the dangers of Roundup, it’s time to take action and ban Roundup unless and until it’s proven safe.
Tell The EPA: Ban Roundup
It’s absurd that a weed killer — designed to make our lives more convenient and food production more efficient — should be allowed to put public health at risk. We know there are safe ways to get rid of weeds, including simple crop rotations, following organic farming practices, or just yanking them out of the backyard.
It’s time to ban Roundup. But Monsanto is not going to make it easy. Despite the growing body of evidence to the contrary, Monsanto is still saying Roundup is safe, and they are hard at work trying to convince the EPA that no further testing is required, and no restrictions on its use are needed. So far, the EPA has been receptive to Monsanto’s aims — not that long ago they increased what they considered to be a safe level of glyphosate.
We need your help to call on the EPA to ban Roundup unless and until independent research proves it’s safe.
Image credits: Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC BY 2.0; Chafer Machinery via Flickr, CC BY 2.0
When it comes to clean transportation, Texas got a “D” for underutilizing funds from Volkswagen’s nearly $3 billion settlement with federal authorities, according to a new report card from U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center.
After Volkswagen was caught three years ago violating emissions standards in 590,000 cars marketed as “clean diesel,” the German automaker agreed to create an “Environmental Mitigation Trust” to be distributed across all 50 states (along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Texas got its grade because the funds were made available for dirty fuels like compressed fracked gas, with no extra decision criteria for zero emissions vehicles.
“The Volkswagen settlement gave Texas the opportunity to make huge strides in the essential transition to a cleaner and healthier electric transportation system,” Bay Scoggin, TexPIRG Director said. “It’s deeply disappointing that there’s a lot of good is coming out of how some states are spending this money -- but we are not going nearly far enough.”
Texas placed near the bottom of states overall. The report gave only 15 states a C or better for money-spending policies that increase access to electric vehicle charging and bolster electric school and transit bus fleets. Fourteen states, along with Puerto Rico, received a failing score.
Three years after candidates from both parties made infrastructure a key presidential campaign issue, it’s finally the long-awaited “infrastructure week.” Democratic congressional leaders and the White House announced two weeks ago that they would commit $2 trillion to the cause. But a new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group cautions that before allocating that money, our elected officials need to determine which investments will alleviate the most dire problems America faces as a result of crumbling or outdated infrastructure -- climate change, pollution and threats to public safety.
“Deciding how much to spend before deciding what to spend it on puts the cart before the horse,” said Andre Delattre, senior vice president for program at The Public Interest Network, which includes the three groups that wrote the report. “If Congress and the Trump administration avoid the temptation to spend indiscriminately and instead develop a bold new infrastructure vision, we have the opportunity to give our children and grandchildren a stronger, healthier and more sustainable future.”
INFRASTRUCTURE IS AT THE HEART of America’s greatest challenges. The infrastructure investments made by generations past have contributed to improved health and welfare, and to the nation’s unparalleled economic prosperity. But the infrastructure decisions of the past have also cast a long shadow, leaving America to deal with the burden of lead water pipes that jeopardize our children’s health, fossil fuel pipelines that contribute to global warming, and transportation and solid waste infrastructure that no longer serve today’s needs.
It is time for a bold, new vision for federal infrastructure policy – one that focuses attention on the 21st century’s toughest challenges, from ensuring safe drinking water for all Americans to addressing global warming, which threatens to change American life as we know it. The nation’s infrastructure policy is an opportunity to undertake the challenge of building a better world.
It is also time for a new approach to federal investment in infrastructure – one that’s less focused on creating ribbon-cutting opportunities and maximizing the number of jobs and is more attentive to getting the most benefit out of every dollar spent.
By focusing federal policy on unleashing high-value investments in critical areas – and resisting the temptation to spend resources on counterproductive boondoggle projects – the Trump administration and Congress can leave a lasting infrastructure legacy that will be remembered by future generations.
State PIRG staff from around the country joined over 120 consumer advocates at the third annual Consumer Lobby Day today. Meetings with members of Congress and their staffs focused on protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure and funding while also opposing its current leadership's attack on a payday lending regulation drafted by its past director and his team.
A bipartisan consensus is forming around at least one issue: battling hunger among college students.
Transportation | U.S. PIRG
Volkswagen was caught cheating emissions laws and settled with federal authorities. The settlement included nearly $3 billion for the Environmental Mitigation Trust. How well does our state rank on plans for investing VW mitigation trust funds in clean transportation projects?
Solid Waste | U.S. PIRG
That's 83 cups per person — every single year. They never fully degrade, but persist in our environment for centuries. Join our call to ban polystyrene foam cups and containers.
Food | U.S. PIRG
No student should go hungry in our world of abundance. Our Zero Hunger campaign is recruiting campus administrators to make public commitments to achieving zero hunger by cutting waste.
We're calling on the EPA to ban Monsanto's Roundup unless and until independent research proves it's safe. Let's hold them accountable.
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