According to a press release from the Center for Food Safety, 157,196 consumers signed a letter that was delivered to Home Depot and Lowe’s on Wednesday by “ten environmental, consumer, and pollinator protection organizations.” The letter urged the companies to take Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides off their shelves and replace the products with “organic and other safer alternatives.”
The release claimed that, although glyphosate is “the most widely used weedkiller in the world,” it is a “probable human carcinogen” and has been linked to specific diseases and other issues. The Center for Food Safety also claimed the chemical is harming Monarch butterfly populations and honeybees.
“In the absence of adequate government protections, retailers should step up and act responsibly by ending the sale of products containing glyphosate that are known to have negative impacts on human health and the environment, including pollinators such as Monarch butterflies,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast director at Center for Food Safety, in the press release.
There are hundreds of lawsuits filed against Monsanto and its parent company Bayer based on personal injury allegedly caused by Roundup products. Bayer agreed in June to pay over $10 billion to settle about 75 percent of these cases. The National Black Farmers Association also sought a legal injunction to stop the sale of Roundup products.
The 10 organizations which collected the signatures for Wednesday’s letter included: Friends of the Earth, SumOfUs, Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Green America, Herbicide-Free Campus, Toxic Free North Carolina, People and Pollinators Protection Network, and the Ecology Center.
“Home and garden stores can make a significant difference in reducing the use of this toxic product,” said Kendra Klein, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth in the release. “Research shows that homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops. It’s reckless to sell consumers products linked to cancer when safer organic alternatives exist. Home Depot and Lowe’s should build on their earlier commitments to phase out harmful neonicotinoid pesticides by taking decisive action on glyphosate.”
Another letter sent to Home Depot in August on behalf of 66 organizations and millions of members of Friends of the Earth asked for the same action. It said, “we are writing to urge Home Depot to signal its continued dedication to protecting the health of people, pollinators and the planet by removing all products containing glyphosate from store shelves and online sales and by increasing offerings of organic and other safer alternatives.”
Costco and B&Q have previously decided to discontinue sales of glyphosate-based products.