Originally published on the NRDC Expert Blog.
By reapproving the use of this pesticide — putting both public health and the environment at risk — the Trump administration is, once again, ignoring the science.
NRDC and the Pesticide Action Network sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its reapproval of the widely used pesticide glyphosate, threatening not only public health but also pollinators, which help sustain one in every three bites of food.
“By rubber-stamping the reapproval of glyphosate, the EPA ignored warnings from the scientific and environmental community,” says Sylvia Fallon, senior director of NRDC’s wildlife division.
NRDC has fought for nearly a decade to restrict the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed-killing product Roundup. Applied in large quantities to industrial crops, the toxic chemical easily spreads through soil and water — showing up in drinking water and food supplies, including in kids’ favorites like oatmeal and snack bars. Scientific evidence links glyphosate exposure to birth defects and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Watch this video for more on that topic.
Glyphosate also threatens wildlife, including bees and butterflies, which pollinate everything from fruits to nuts to vegetables. By killing milkweed, the pesticide also threatens the only food source of monarch caterpillars, whose eastern population that overwinters in Mexico recently plummeted 53 percent in one year. “Glyphosate is eradicating habitat for pollinators just as bees and butterflies are experiencing sharp population declines due to human activity,” Fallon says.
To address the looming biodiversity crisis faced by pollinators and thousands of other high-risk species, NRDC continues to advocate for effective, affordable, and non-chemical alternatives for controlling weeds. “People are discovering for themselves the truth about all the dangers inherent in our current system for protecting crops,” says Fallon. “It’s time for a new, smarter, and safer line of attack.”
Featured image: organic kale and weeds controlled by hand weeding and lady bugs (even the weeds in this field are edible and nutritious), © Cynthia Shahan
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