I’m turning this blog on to discuss a serious issue in our industry and how it relates to our service on our customers properties: glyphosate.
On March 27, 2019 a second civil lawsuit in California was decided against Bayer, who purchased Monsanto, the makers of Roundup, in 2018. Both this case and a previous case in 2018 are considered “bellwether cases” in a national effort to link glyphosate use to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) and set up a class action lawsuit against Bayer. These cases are currently being appealed by Bayer, who categorically deny the link between glyphosate and NHL or any other type of cancer.
For-Shore Weed Control uses glyphosate in our standard Full Season Weed Control program, as well as in specialty services such as bamboo control, phragmites control, and lawn renovations. It has been a part of our program for over 35 years because it is more effective at lower volumes than any other herbicide. Many products that you might use, including the ever-popular salt/vinegar/dish soap mixture that people pass around on Facebook every summer, will kill the green part of a weed above the surface, but will not kill the root. With repeat applications of any burn down chemical or mixture you will kill the whole plant eventually by depleting the energy of the root system, but it is more labor intensive and introduces more chemicals to the environment than a single application of Roundup.
As a pesticide application businesses that has used glyphosate in our services for the past 36 years, we value this chemical as a useful tool to maintain our customers’ properties. We are exploring alternatives due to the bad press that Roundup is getting right now, but the bad publicity and current results of these two civil cases are not consistent with the research that has been published, including the research used to rule against Bayer in these two lawsuits. I want to make a few things clear at this point:
We have not had contact with Monsanto or Bayer to advocate for their products.
None of the cases in the news right now are suggesting that there is a risk to the property owner, consumer, or even home user of glyphosate.
The NJDEP has strict guidelines for the safe use of this and any other pesticide including wearing long pants, gloves, and waterproof boots. We follow these as well as more strict in-house procedures to avoid our applicators being exposed to chemicals.
We will investigate alternative products, but we will not begin to use them without carefully assessing their risk to our local ecosystem, our technicians, and our customers.
Over the next few weeks I am going to post and discuss current research papers, as well as conventional news articles, to try to help clarify what’s happening with glyphosate and how it will affect your property and your service.