Glyphosate - Where is it Restricted or Banned in the United States?
Despite the IARC report’s 2015 conclusion that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. As such, glyphosate is not banned by the U.S. government; Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides are readily available for purchase throughout the country.
However, not everyone agrees with the EPA’s conclusion on glyphosate. A number of cities, counties and even one U.S. state have issued bans, restrictions or warnings on glyphosate as a result of the ongoing health concerns.
Is Glyphosate Banned in California?
California has not issued a statewide ban on glyphosate. However, on July 7, 2017, California became the first state in the nation to issue a warning on glyphosate by adding the chemical to the state’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals and substances known to cause cancer.
California’s decision to warn consumers about glyphosate was pursuant to the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as California Proposition 65, a ballot initiative approved by voters in 1986 to address toxic chemical exposure concerns. Prop 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
U.S. Cities to Restrict or Ban Glyphosate
- Burbank, California – City Council members voted to discontinue the use of Roundup in city parks for one year, and Burbank Unified School District will no longer use the herbicide due to cancer concerns.
- Carlsbad, California – The City Council voted unanimously to adopt a policy that makes organic pesticides the preferred method for killing weeds. “Asked to choose between aesthetics and public health…I’m going to choose public health every time,” said Councilwoman Cori Schumacher.
- Encinitas, California – Banned the use of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers in city parks.
- Irvine, California – City Council passed resolution to cease spraying Roundup and other chemicals on public parks, streets and playgrounds.
- Petaluma, California – City officials are considering a ban on glyphosate for use in public parks.
- Richmond, California – Issued an ordinance to ban the use of glyphosate for all weed abatement activities conducted by the city.
- Thousand Oaks, California – City instituted a ban on glyphosate use on public golf courses.
- Boulder, Colorado – Banned Roundup for use on city parks.
- Durango, Colorado – Instituted an Organically Managed Lands program to minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
A growing number of Connecticut towns, including Branford, Cheshire, Granby, Essex, Greenwich, Manchester, Plainville, Roxbury, Watertown, and Woodbridge have adopted bans or restrictions on glyphosate use. The state also has Public Act 09-56 to eliminate the use pesticides in K-8 schools.
North Miami, Florida – City Council approved a plan calling for the gradual reduction of pesticide use on city property and a study on alternative pesticides.
- Montgomery County, Maryland – County Council voted to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides on private lawns.
- Takoma Park, Maryland – Placed restriction on cosmetic pesticides for lawn care on public and private property.
Dozens of cities and townships in Maine have adopted local ordinances restricting or banning pesticides and herbicides.
Marblehead, Massachusetts – Created Organic Pest Management program to phase out pesticides and herbicides.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Commissioners of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board decided to eliminate all glyphosate-based products from being used in neighborhood parks.
Reno, Nevada – The city initiated a pesticide free pilot program.
Taos County, New Mexico – Taos County Commissioners are considering the possibility of banning all pesticides, including glyphosate.
New Jersey has State and local ordinances encouraging Integrated Pest Management programs to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of pesticides. At least 15 city school districts and over a dozen other parks and recreation departments in the state have enacted IPM programs.
New York’s Park and Recreation Department has measures to eliminate or reduce pesticide and herbicide use in areas under its control.
- New Paltz, New York – The use of toxic pesticides and herbicides by city employees or by private contractors is forbidden on all city-owned lands.
- Rockland County, New York – Created a Non-Toxic Pesticide program, mandating the use of natural, non-toxic, or as a last resort with prior approval, the least toxic pesticide use.
- Westchester County, New York – Enacted a law for pesticide-free parks.
- Cuyahoga County, Oregon – Local ordinance prohibits the use of pesticides on county-owned land, and established the adoption of an Integrated Pest Management program for county-owned properties.
- South Portland, Oregon – Passed a pesticide plan that discourages property owners from using certain pesticides and herbicides.
Source: Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, 1/22/2018