Roundup Banned in Some Countries and Cities, Still Used Here

Many experts say it is safer to pull weeds by hand, than to spray them with chemicals.’

Roundup has been cited in many lawsuits across the United States as a possible source of cancer. It continues to be legal here because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is safe. “There are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label, and glyphosate is not a carcinogen,” according to the EPA.

A reader wrote that last week a homeowner/resident was spraying Roundup around his front yard in the Palisades. “But as I got closer, I saw him continue to spray the roundup into a crack that ran along the full width of the street – all the way to the other sidewalk. He told me he was doing it to ‘save the street.’”

The resident told the man that Roundup, whose active ingredient is glyphosate, wasn’t safe for the groundwater and soil, but the sprayer responded, “It’s totally safe.”

In 2018, then Councilmember Mike Bonin asked the Department of Recreation and Parks to look at alternatives to Roundup, and the department agreed not to use Roundup or other glyphosate herbicides near playgrounds or recreation areas.

There is no law banning Roundup in the City –just an agreement not to use it in sensitive areas.

Where Roundup is banned in the U.S. is variable and doesn’t include most of Southern California. The Los Angeles County Supervisors in 2019, asked its departments to cease using glyphosate-based herbicides, but that still allows for the use by private citizens click here.

Roundup is banned or restricted in numerous countries because of glyphosate click here.

Roundup was developed in 1974 by Monsanto. In 1996, Monsanto began to sell genetically modified soybean seeds to farmers and soon after began selling GMO corn. These GMO crops were designed to be tolerant to the effects of Roundup, which meant that farmers could treat fields with the chemical and not lose the GMO crops. Glyphosate became the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world.

In July 2018, Bayer acquired Monsanto Company – and Roundup – for $63 billion. Since then, Monsanto and Bayer both have faced a wave of lawsuits in the United States over claims its glyphosate-based herbicide causes cancer.

After decades of research, an International Agency for Research on Cancer study found that animals that were exposed to glyphosate had organ tumors. Other research found that farmers who utilized Roundup had a higher likelihood of suffering from various forms of cancer.

Farmers, landscapers, and home gardeners filed claims against Bayer-Monsanto, stating that the main ingredient, glyphosate, caused them to develop non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other cancers.

Roundup stays in the soil for up to six months and appears in vegetables and other plants grown in soil previously treated with the herbicide. Glyphosate is still used and continues to show up in foods, even Cheerios, a breakfast cereal.

In a 2019 study, Cheerios had been found to contain trace amounts glyphosate. The environmental Working Group’s Children’s health Initiative found that 21 of General Mills’ oat-based cereal and snacks – and all but four products – contained levels higher than what EWG scientists consider safe for children.

The EWG contends that glyphosate may raise the risk of cancer. Other organizations say there isn’t evidence yet that the chemical is carcinogenic, especially in the levels found in packaged food.

In November of 2021, a California couple who both developed cancer after using Roundup was awarded $86.2 million after the courts found that Monsanto knowingly marketed a product that contained an active ingredient (glyphosate) that it knew was dangerous. While Monsanto challenged the ruling, California’s highest court upheld it in a 2-1 ruling.

Since then, Bayer-Monsanto has faced over 125,000 claims that Roundup caused farmers, gardeners, and landscapers to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers.

The company has paid over $10 billion to settle over 100,000 of the claims out of court and made the decision to phase out the sale of glyphosate-based products to homeowners starting in 2023. It can take up to 15 years after exposure to Roundup for its impacts on human health to be detected.

A 2019 University of Washington research cites a 41% increase in the risk of developing a form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in those who experience prolonged exposure to glyphosate.

“Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic,” said senior author Lianne Sheppard, a professor in the UW departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Biostatistics. “As a result of this research, I am even more convinced that it is.”

“This research provides the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, incorporating a 2018 study of more than 54,000 people who work as licensed pesticide applicators,” said co-author Rachel Shaffer, a UW doctoral student in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.

“These findings are aligned with a prior 2015 assessment from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen,’” Shaffer said.

According to the World Health Organization research, glyphosate may also cause DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.

North Carolina State University experts suggest the following alternatives for weed removal:

  1. Manual removal:While it’s labor-intensive and potentially expensive, pulling weeds by hand approximately every two weeks is a safer alternative to using herbicides.
  2. Flame weeding: Flame weeders, which use heat to kill seedling broadleaf weeds, is better suited for cracks in driveways, between pavers or in gravel mulch. Only a brief exposure to the flame is required to heat the water inside the plant. After exposure to the heat, the leaf tissues tend to quickly collapse. (Editor’s note: Maybe not the best choice for Southern California.)
  3. Steam or hot-foam weeding: This is a good alternative when flammable materials are present. Using pressurized steam or hot water and a foaming agent, these machines use approximately 60 gallons of water per hour.

(Editor’s note: Men in hazard suits were spraying Cheeta Pro in George Wolfberg Park in April. Cheeta’s active ingredients are glufonsinate-ammonium. Glufosinate is an EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] registered chemical, and the chemical is also registered in California. Although legal in the U.S., it is not approved for use as an herbicide in Europe; it was last reviewed in 2007 and that registration expired in 2018. It has been withdrawn from the French market since October 24, 2017, by the Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail because of its classification as a possible reprotoxic – affecting both male and female fertility as well as off-spring development.)

Glufosinate-ammonium was sprayed on the grass in George Wolfberg Park, killing everything.

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3 Responses to Roundup Banned in Some Countries and Cities, Still Used Here

  1. Stacey Henning says:

    It’s horrific they are still spraying this stuff in the canyon. Thanks for publishing this, Sue.

  2. Andrea Bell says:

    Question: An arboreal tree-napping mystery: What happened to the four 80 year old 100 feet tall Palm trees that have graced the Cartage side of 700 Radcliffe during the many decades I have life here? I know the house was sold, but a few days ago the reaching-to-heaven Palms were completely gone from one day to the next?? I hope they went to a new home and were not destroyed.

  3. Sue says:


    There is sawdust where the palm trees stood–I fear they were destroyed.


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