Environmental advocacy group POCCA (protect our Cape Cod Aquifer) is urging all 15 Cape Cod towns to refrain from applying glyphosate-containing herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup in an effort to protect the health of local citizens.
“Glyphosate has proven harmful to people as well as bees,” said Laura Kelley, president of POCCA, and a beekeeper. “There are now 15 countries that don’t allow the sale or use of glyphosate products. We’re asking the town to become a leader and to do the right thing by just taking the next step.”
Six months ago, the first lawsuit against Bayer AG’s unit Monsanto involving cancer claims was tried. Longtime school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson sued Monsanto alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-containing herbicides caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A jury awarded him $285 million in damages. Monsanto appealed and the award was reduced to $78 million.
Bayer and Monsanto have vigorously defended the safety of their weed killers despite the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
At the end of February, the University of Washington released an analysis of several studies and determined that people highly exposed to glyphosate have a 41 percent greater risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
POCCA’s mission is to educate residents, businesses and public agencies of Cape Cod how to keep drinking water safe by eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in the environment. The organization is asking Cape Towns to voluntarily stop using glyphosate.
“Imagine if 15 towns volunteer not to use Round Up on all town land. How can the state approve (its use) for a Vegetation Management Plan (by Eversource)?” Kelley said. POCCA has historically battled Eversource over its vegetation management plan, arguing its use of chemicals to keep right-of-way foliage under control is dangerous to the Cape’s sole aquifer.
POCCA Cape Cod