Glyphosate is a commonly-used herbicide designed for use on broad-leafed weeds and grasses, and more often known by trade names of products containing glyphosate such as Roundup, Rodeo, and Pondmaster. This legislation amends the Environmental Conservation Law to ban the use of glyphosate on state property.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer within the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and is particularly linked to a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Glyphosate is also included on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals and substances known to cause cancer. A 2019 study confirmed a potential link of exposure to glyphosate to higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In recent months, there have been several high-profile lawsuits against Monsanto, a subsidiary of Bayer, involving claims that the company's Roundup weed killer caused cancer. A case in May 2019 awarded a California couple whose cancer was linked to the use of Roundup $2 billion in damages, with a previous case in March 2019 awarding a man who used Roundup extensively $80 million in damages. There are thousands of additional people suing Monsanto, alleging that the product is a cause of their cancer. Several municipalities around the country and several countries have already banned the use of glyphosate.
A study by Environmental Working Group in 2018 found traces of glyphosate in all the oat-based cereals that were tested, from Cheerios to Lucky Charms, with nearly ¾ of the samples with levels higher than is considered protective of children’s health. A 2009 study by Ohio Sea Grant researchers showed a connection of glyphosate to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.
Glyphosate is an herbicide that threatens human health and the health of our environment. While we believe a full, statewide ban on this herbicide is necessary, we support a ban on glyphosate on state lands as a first step. New York needs to prioritize our health and our environment over our weeds.
This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law to ban the use of glyphosate on state property.