November 1, 2019
Board Members/Officers of the Talent Irrigation District:
I recently sent a letter regarding the need to update the system of communication and designation of NO SPRAY zones, between property owners bordering the canal and TID. The issue arose out of discovering almost none of my neighbors knew of TID’s use of Roundup by the canal, or of actions required to prevent spraying. We have just constructed a related petition, which we will be circulating, soon.
The intent of this letter is to address the need for the TID to adopt a chemical-free system of plant control, something non-controversial that will not harm people, pets, or pollinators.
I’ve been pouring over research and reports about Roundup, its chemicals glyphosate and polyoxyethyleneamine (POEA), their effects and politicized commercialization and related lawsuits, for hours and hours. My research on Roundup revealed the following:
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is widely believed to cause several cancers, birth defects, fetal mortality and infertility. POEA in Roundup has been found even more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the glyphosate . Glyphosate is found in 70% of U.S. produce, including that from fields upon which none has been sprayed. It is also hugely detrimental to pollinators, necessary for producing food.
What’s sprayed, speads. Wind-scattered dead leaves carry chemicals everywhere. The water pooled in the shut-off canal is riddled with leaves and dirt carried by rain and wind. It has to go somewhere. Residue is also spread by surviving pollinators.
Viewpoints about glyphosate danger, vary. Much is learned by following the money. Roundup represents 10% of Monsanto/Bayer’s sales. Roundup-resistant GMO seeds bring that up to around 50%. This is half their revenue, tens of billions of dollars. Monsanto/Bayer losing a few billion in lawsuits, is small cost to them, compared to the profits. The cost to our lives and health and the planet are incalculable.
An Oakland jury awarded an East Bay couple $2 billion, determining decades of using Roundup caused them to get cancer. Superior Court Judge Winifred Y. Smith ruled the award reduced to $86.7 million, stating constitutional limits on lawsuits forced the deduction. But she wrote that, “In this case, there was clear and convincing evidence that Monsanto made efforts to impede, discourage, or distort scientific inquiry and the resulting science.”
U.S. District court evidence states, “The Monsanto Papers,” proved Monsanto purposefully ghostwrote articles that regulators, farmers, and government agencies have been relying on for years.” They orchestrated attacks against the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for concluding glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, hid their own (Monsanto’s) consultant’s conclusions that Roundup causes DNA damage, hid data of Roundup penetrating skin at greater rates than reported, unduly influenced EPA officials to arrive at pro-Roundup conclusions.
San Francisco suits filed against Roundup number over 19,000. JP Morgan analysts, citing analysis of Missouri court data, said in an Oct. 9 research note the number of glyphosate cases could rise to more than 45,000. More than 42,700 had been filed, nationwide, by Oct. 30, 2019.
When chemicals are used on foliage, plants resistant to those chemicals develop. The response has been for more, different chemicals to then be developed and used. Harmful substances are thus continually accumulating in the environment. There are increasing numbers of children with nervous system afflictions, cancers, and other maladies. Chemical companies rake in billions faster than we can substantiate the horrendous harm they cause. It’s hard to fight what is profitable Monsanto/Bayer made billions from DDT, Agent Orange, Roundup, Saccharin, PCB’s.
So far, Roundup is banned in 133 countries, including Austria, Canada (8 of 10 provinces), Argentina, France, Scotland, Portugal, New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Thailand. The UK’s ban goes into effect in 3 years. Germany, the home of Bayer/Monsanto, voted a ban on glyphosate use by 2023.
We feel the TID is well-intended. It’s natural to resist change. There is hassle and expense to adopting something new. But we are all worth it. I understand the current system, regardless of its unfamiliarity to most property owners, has been in effect for 19 years. That’s only slightly fewer years than Roundup has been on the U.S. market.
There are many chemical-free alternatives to Roundup online, made from home ingredients: table salt, vinegar, borax, dish soap, clove oil, orange oil. Ready-made alternatives are also available. Steam is being used in Talent. At my property, we recently borrowed a handheld machine that cuts through blackberries like butter.
So I ask this board, to be pro-active. Instead of using what is controversial and what many believe very harmful, do something chemical-free. It may take research, hours and more money. And it’s so worth it. PLEASE find another system to substitute for spraying chemical herbicides along the canal. Let’s take a defensive stance towards protecting our loved ones and our world. Please.
Hyiah Sirah, Ashland