New York City should move quickly to protect the public from toxic pesticides by enacting an immediate moratorium on the use of glyphosate-based products such as Roundup and passing legislation that would restrict their use in city parks and lands, Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said Tuesday.
The action, she stressed, is even more urgent in light of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s bewildering declaration that glyphosate is not a carcinogen and poses no risk to human health despite U.S. juries that found it caused cancer in people and the World Health Organization’s determination that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans.
“It is imperative that New York City officials take immediate action to make sure city parks and properties are safe by banning the use of toxic pesticides and relying instead on organic sustainable methods to manicure its parks and fields,’’ said Feral. “Its actions will send a message to the nation that the largest most progressive city in the U.S. is willing to step forward to protect wildlife, pollinators and humans who are imperiled by the use of these chemicals.”
Friends of Animals is supporting the efforts of Councilman Ben Kallos and Carlina Rivera who introduced bill 1524-2019 that will restrict the use of harmful pesticides on city-owned and leased lands. The bill also bans the use of pesticides within 75 feet of a body of water. In April, eight members of the Council including Kallos and Rivera sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on him to place an immediate moratorium on the use of glyphosate and surfactant-based herbicides being sprayed within NYC neighborhoods and parks until restrictions can be codified into law by the Council.
“At a time when courts around the country have ruled in favor of cancer victims suing Roundup because it contains glyphosate and caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma it is unbelievable that this EPA would say this,” Kallos said. “It is obvious that the EPA is now serving lobbyists, special interests and industry, not the American people or the environment. The EPA’s decision is precisely why New York City must take action and ban the use of toxic pesticides in our parks by adopting Introduction 1524-2019.”
Roundup is the city’s most heavily used pesticide and was sprayed 1,365 times in 2013, according to a health department report Kallos cited.
Other countries that have heavily regulated or outright banned glyphosate include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and India among others, he noted.