What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide (plant-killing chemical) commonly found in products such as Roundup and Ranger Pro. In the USA alone, Glyphosate was consistently ranked as the second most commonly used herbicide in the home and garden sector between 2001-2007, with annual use of 2000-4000 tons (EPA, 2011).

Why is Glyphosate harmful to our environment? 

  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, meaning that it is toxic to most plant species and can be harmful to non-target plant species and wildlife.
  • Glyphosate lasts for a long time in food, water, and dust and doesn't break down quickly in the environment. (Zhang et al., 2019)
  • Glyphosate can be harmful to beneficial pollinators and can indirectly affect other wildlife by impacting food and shelter, exposing wildlife to predation and starvation.
  • Glyphosate is also toxic to aquatic vegetation and wildlife. For instance, chronic exposure, even at sublethal doses, can induce chromosomal damage in fish. (Caramello et al., 2017)

How is Glyphosate harmful to human health?

  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a "probable human carcinogen" and linked exposure to cancer including Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
  • Human exposure is also associated with an increased risk of miscarriages, premature birth, abnormally frequent menstruation, and possibly reduced sperm count. (Cox, 1998)
  • Recent findings also indicate that Glyphosate exposure may cause DNA damage. (Koller et al., 2012)

How can we eliminate the use of Glyphosate in our community? 

  • The state of Florida has passed a law banning local governments from regulating pesticides and herbicides. We call this a "preemption" of local laws.
  • However, municipal governments can still take steps to address these chemicals in their communities. We encourage municipalities to lead the way by committing to stop using glyphosate on our public lands, parks, and near waterways through passing a resolution. 
  • Miami Waterkeeper has drafted a sample resolution that municipalities may adopt in order to demonstrate a voluntary transition from Glyphosate-containing products to other alternatives. 
  • Some municipalities have already made the switch! Municipalities with resolutions include: Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, City of Miami Beach, City of North Miami, and the City of Key West.

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