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A coalition is urging the EPA to immediately suspend the use of a widely used weedkiller: ‘No legal legs to stand on’

“Farmworker women and their families have experienced the damaging health effects of pesticides for far too long.”

"Farmworker women and their families have experienced the damaging health effects of pesticides for far too long."

Photo Credit: iStock

A coalition of six organizations has urged the Environmental Protection Agency to halt the use of the common weedkiller glyphosate. 

The filing of the petition — done by the Center for Food Safety — came on Dec. 13, a week after a study in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that male farmers exposed to the weedkiller had “markers” of DNA-damaging toxic substances, as detailed by nonprofit Common Dreams.  

“After last year’s court decision, EPA has no legal legs to stand on,” CFS attorney Pegga Mosavi said, referring to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals earlier findings that the agency failed to prove glyphosate is safe. 

The environmental advocacy organization noted in a press release that multiple studies have linked the weedkiller to “harmful effects on the liver, kidney, and reproductive system,” as well as certain cancers. 

“Farmworker women and their families have experienced the damaging health effects of pesticides for far too long. EPA must protect the nation’s farmworkers and our environment by immediately suspending and canceling all glyphosate registrations,” said Mily Treviño-Sauceda, the executive director for coalition member Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.

Other members include the CFS, Lideres Campesinas, Beyond Pesticides, the Farmworker Association of Florida, and Rural Coalition.

The petition also expressed concern about the weedkiller’s impact on wildlife, including the endangered monarch butterflies and honey bees. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly all of the fruit and grain crops in the United States rely on pollinators

While there are a number of ways to control pests and weeds without harmful chemicals, roughly 300 million pounds of glyphosate are used every year in the United States, as detailed in the CFS press release. 

“This petition attempts to hold EPA accountable to the rule of law, while recognizing that glyphosate … can be replaced by cost-effective organic food production and land management of parks, playing fields, or lawns,” Beyond Pesticides executive director Jay Feldman said in a press release for the organization. 

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