August 12, 2015 — The Hawaii County Council is considering a bill that would ban spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup on government-owned lands, according to Big Island Video News.
Bill 71 was introduced by councilwoman Margaret Wille, and “prohibits toxic herbicides in all County owned or maintained public parks and along all County owned or maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, and waterways.”
The list of herbicides includes glyphosate (Monsanto’s “Roundup”), 2,4-Dichloro-phenoxyacetic, atrazine, dioxin, picloram, bipyridinium, diphenyl ether and tyrosine breakdown products.
Herbicides with a warning label of “caution” would still be allowed. However, toxic herbicides labeled as dangerous, toxic to fish or wildlife, or pose a risk of groundwater contamination would not be allowed.
The purpose of the bill is to decrease exposure to toxic herbicides in public places, roads, and waterways, while encouraging more eco-friendly alternatives:
“Alternative ways to manage weeds in a manner that enhances environmental wellbeing are available, including manual removal, planting of cover plants that beautify public ways and roadsides, and other more eco-friendly spray applications.”
Roundup (glyphosate) is one of the most popular herbicides in the world, but concerns have recently emerged about possible carcinogenic (cancer-causing) side effects.
In March, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared Roundup a “probable carcinogen.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also plans to spend the next five years studying the effects of Roundup on 1,500 endangered species.
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