Published : Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 3:15 PM
The Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl that directs county departments to stop the use of the herbicide glyphosate while a full investigation is conducted to examine whether the chemical is appropriate for use by the county based on potential environmental and health impacts.
Earlier this month, Pasadena Now and the Pasadena Weekly reported that the County had sprayed Roundup inside Northeast Pasadena.
District 4 Councilmember Gene Masuda was less than pleased.
“Roundup is very dangerous,” Masuda said. “I put it in the same category as poison, as DDT.”
In recommending the County halt spraying Roundup, Barger said on Tuesday that she was “asking county departments to stop the use of herbicide until public health and environmental professionals can determine if it’s safe for further use in L.A. County and explore alternative methods for vegetation management,” Barger said.
The use of glyphosate, a main ingredient in the herbicide brand called “Roundup,” is a well-known and effective weed abatement method used by many public and private entities.
The County’s Agricultural Commissioner, who has established protocols for its use in full compliance with all Federal and State regulations, also uses herbicide. Despite these controls, however, there is a growing body of scientific study around the safety of using herbicides and the potential for negative impacts on human, animal, and environmental health.
“In a 2015 study led by 17 experts from 11 countries, the World Health Agency’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate should be classified as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans,’” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. “That conclusion makes it imperative that we question any long-term use of this controversial herbicide, and that’s exactly what this motion calls for.”
The Department of Public Works, in conjunction with Public Health, Parks and Recreation, Beaches and Harbors, and the Agricultural Commission, will study the issue and report back to the Board with findings and alternatives within 30 days.