The Wild Foodies of Philly
In search of the food beneath our feet!
TOXIC-FREE PHILLY PARKS!
Info on the 5% VINEGAR SOLUTION to Toxic Chemicals
Info on Monsanto's Glyphosate
Ask Mayor Kenney and City Council for TOXIC-FREE PARKS!
SEND TO: James.Kenney@phila.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Cherelle.Parker@phila.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Bill.Greenlee@phila.gov; Al.Taubenberger@phila.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; Maria.Q.Sanchez@phila.gov AND PARK & REC:email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
MAY 28, 2019
Dear Mayor Kenney and City Council:
Please pass an ordinance that will put a stop to spraying toxic herbicides in Philadelphia’s public parks. It is important to protect the public’s health as well as limit the city’s exposure to litigation from those harmed by these chemicals. Despite the green light the EPA recently gave glyphosate (see article below), the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, it has become abundantly clear that these herbicides are not safe. The World Health Organization has declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, and many law firms are advertising on TV for clients who have been injured by Roundup. For example:
https://learn.breakinginjurynews.com/rounduphelpdesk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgsvY7r--4gIVSAOGCh3VDAWJEAAYASAAEgLzofD_BwE How do you qualify to be a litigant? “Many victims, including farm workers, landscape professionals, golf course green-keepers, and private homeowners have already come forward to file claims against Monsanto after being exposed to glyphosate and contracting non-hodgkins lymphoma.”
My name is Lynn Landes and I am the Founder of the Wild Foodies of Philly, an educational meetup with over 4500 members who like to learn about wild plants for food, fiber, and medicine. Here is a recent Inquirer article about what we do: https://www.philly.com/life/edible-plants-onion-grass-burdock-root-thistle-wild-violet-20190520.html
This Memorial Day weekend, I was once again dismayed to discover that parts of the Art Museum area, Lemon Hill, and Kelly Drive, including the area north of the East Falls Bridge along the bike path – areas that are heavily used by the public - had been sprayed with what appears to be an herbicide. In the case of Lemon Hill and the Art Museum, some steep banks had been completely defoliated (see photos above).
In 2017 after a similar incident, I sent you a few letters and lots of information about making Philadelphia’s parks toxic-free - http://www.healthalertphilly.org/ToxicFreeParks.htm. I am asking you again to please protect public safety, avoid costly lawsuits, and ban toxic herbicides from Philadelphia’s public parks. Even if the product used was safe, such as 5% household vinegar (which we highly recommended for use on sidewalks and curbs), it makes more sense to use a trimmer to cut back vegetation, not an herbicide that leaves behind an unsightly mess. Here is the report we did on the use of 5% Vinegar - http://www.wildfoodies.org/Vinegar.docx
It is really harmful for the environment (flora and fauna) when property, particularly along a tree line, is sprayed with chemicals. The tree line is one of the best places for wildlife to eat and nest. And although the Wild Foodies don’t ‘forage’ the parks, we do ‘nibble’ here and there. The city should encourage the public to pick berries and learn more about nature. But, that can’t happen ‘safely’ if people have to fear ingesting Roundup at the same time.
Consider, we all walk in the parks and sit in the grass with our children and dogs. These toxic chemicals can seep into our skin and stick to our shoes as we walk back into our homes, contaminating our floors and carpets where our pets and small children (and grandchildren, in my case) spend much of their time.
Please protect the planet and the public, and avoid liability. Pass an ordinance to stop the spraying. And let me know what else I can do to further assist you.
Lynn Landes, Founder
The Wild Foodies of Philly
www.WildFoodies.org (our resource website)
https://www.meetup.com/Wild-Foodies-of-Philly (our meetup)
NPR: Over 13,000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto, the maker of Roundup -
From SOKOLOVE LAW -
Glyphosate, the herbicide and active ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup®, has recently been classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). Agricultural workers are now filing lawsuits against Monsanto, the maker of the weed killer, claiming that on-the-job exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop cancer.
How Dangerous Is Glyphosate?
A July 2015 report published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified the chemical compound as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The report states:
“Two large case-control studies of NHL from Canada and the USA, and two case-control studies from Sweden reported statistically significant increased risks of NHL [Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma] in association with exposure to glyphosate.”
The use of agricultural grade Roundup has increased since the introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops in the 1990’s. In 2012 alone, over 283 million pounds of glyphosate were sprayed on crops across the U.S., including corn, soybeans, and sugar beets, among others.
Agricultural Workers Take Action
Those most at risk of developing cancer associated with heavy exposure to glyphosate-containing weed-killers include:
- Garden center and nursery workers
- Avid gardeners
We are currently investigating cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you or someone you know developed cancer after frequent exposure to Roundup, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Sokolove Law for a free and confidential legal consultation today.
Roundup® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC.
May 6, 2018: U.S. environment agency says glyphosate weed killer is not a carcinogen (but the World Health Organization and juries don’t agree)https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-glyphosate/us-environment-agency-says-glyphosate-weed-killer-is-not-a-carcinogen-idUSKCN1S62SU
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday that glyphosate, a chemical in many popular weed killers, is not a carcinogen, contradicting decisions by U.S. juries that found it caused cancer in people.
The EPA’s announcement reaffirms its earlier findings about the safety of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup. The company faces thousands of lawsuits from Roundup users who allege it caused their cancer.“ EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in a statement.
Farmers spray glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture, on fields of soybeans and other crops. Roundup is also used on lawns, golf courses and elsewhere. The EPA did previously find ecological risks from the chemical and has proposed new measures to protect the environment from glyphosate use by farmers and to reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to it.
Bayer said it was pleased the EPA and other regulators who have assessed the science on glyphosate for more than 40 years continue to conclude it is not carcinogenic. “Bayer firmly believes that the science supports the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides,” it said in a statement. The company has repeatedly denied allegations that glyphosate and Roundup cause cancer.
But critics of the chemical disputed the EPA’s assurances. “Unfortunately American consumers cannot trust the EPA assessment of glyphosate’s safety,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity.
Monsanto developed Roundup as the first glyphosate-based weed killer, but it is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are available. Bayer bought Monsanto last year for $63 billion.
The debate over glyphosate’s safety has put a spotlight on regulatory agencies around the world in recent years and, more recently, on U.S. courtrooms.
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” But the EPA in 2017 said a decades-long assessment of glyphosate risks found the chemical was not likely carcinogenic to humans.
In February, analysts at Brazilian health agency Anvisa also determined the weed killer does not cause cancer while recommending limits on exposure.
In the first U.S. Roundup trial, a California man was awarded $289 million in August 2018 after a state court jury found the weed killer caused his cancer. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is being appealed by Bayer. A U.S. jury in March awarded $80 million to another California man who claimed his use of Roundup caused his cancer.
June 27, 2017
Hi everyone – As we near Fourth of July weekend 2017 I’m asking you to contact Mayor Kenney and City Council to ask for freedom from Roundup and other toxic herbicides used in Philadelphia’s schools and parks. The science has been clear for decades - that Roundup is toxic to people and the planet. Why are we allowing the spraying to continue?
The good news is that the city is experimenting with using undiluted 5% household vinegar instead of commercial herbicides in one district, which was in response to a successful experiment we conducted last year at Boelsen Cottage in Fairmount Park. The bad news is that you will never know where Roundup has been used in all the other parks, so that people, pets, and wild life remain at risk.
To learn more about toxic herbicides, go to Health Alert Philly’s page on Toxic Free Parks: http://www.healthalertphilly.org/ToxicFreeParks.htm and read Dr. Mercola’s latest articlehttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/14/monsantos-roundup-cancer-warning-label.aspx
Lynn Landes and Louise Francis, Co-Founders, Health Alert Philly
From Phyllis Rubin, Board Member, GMO Free PA (http://gmofreepa.org)
Mayor Kenney and City Council might also want to know the following.
1. The California state Environmental Protection Agency just passed a ruling that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is to be added to their list of chemicals known to cause cancer. It takes effect on July 7: https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/crnr/glyphosate-listed-effective-july-7-2017-known-state-california-cause-cancer
2. Here’s the link to the study (published by one of the most respected peer-reviewed science journals in the world) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research section of the World Health Organization, which prompted the WHO to classify glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(15)70134-8/abstract
3. Roundup is routinely sprayed on our food. For those who don’t already know, the vast, vast majority of food that is genetically engineered (known as GMO) is altered to be able to tolerate the killing effects of Roundup. Roundup/glyphosate is very effective plant killer because it is quickly transmitted systemically, cell to cell throughout the plant. But this also means that glyphosate is in virtually all processed foods. (Note that certified organic standards prohibit any genetically engineered ingredients.)
The GMO crop idea is to spray the entire field with Roundup to kill weeds, while the GMO crop still stands. Transnational biotech corporations develop and sell both the GMO seeds and their accompanying herbicide. (Monsanto manufacturers Roundup and Roundup Ready seed.) In 2016’s growing season in the US, 94% of soy, 92% of corn, 95% of canola, 89% of cotton, and 100% of sugar beets were genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant. (Corn and cotton are also engineered to secrete insecticide from every cell.) Overuse of the same herbicide has caused the problem of immune “superweeds,” which now infest 75% of commodity farm fields. This phenomenon has triggered a spiral of increasingly toxic herbicides applied to crops; a sort of pesticide versus weeds arms race.
Airborne herbicides and gene-altered pollen threatens wild plants, non-GMO crops, and organic certification of farms. Pesticide toxins (including neonicotinoid insecticide GMO seed treatment coatings) have destroyed soil fertility, caused widespread water pollution, genetic deformity of amphibians and fish, and massive colony collapse of pollinators (bees, butterflies, and birds).
In 2016, Philadelphia City Council passed unanimously a resolution calling on the federal government to label genetically engineered food. The resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown.
Organic farming yields greater quantities and more nutrient-dense (and flavorful!) food. For now, the USDA organic standards still prohibit any genetic engineering in certified organic fresh or processed products.
On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Lynn Landes <Wild-Foodies-of-Philly-
Photos above taken Sept 18, 2016.
Subject: RE: Dead Vegetation All Along Kelly Drive, Please Stop the Spraying
Dear Mayor & City Council – It has been almost 2 months since I wrote to you about Kelly Drive, Martin Luther King Drive, and many other parts of Fairmount Park that were sprayed with a toxic herbicide. As you can see from the photos below (taken two months apart), the result continues to be an unsightly and unhealthy situation for people, pets, and nature in general. These dangerous chemicals get tracked inside homes where children and pets play on the floor. Also, people may nibble on a wild berry or eat a dandelion, not realizing that it’s been sprayed with toxic chemicals.
So, I am once again encouraging the city to ban any future use of toxic herbicides as a way to control plant growth in the city of Philadelphia.
As I recommended in my first email, it is best to use a machine or manually trim along a tree line. Many important plants, bushes, and trees thrive along the tree line and supply food for birds, bees, and other wild life, therefore any type of herbicide is not appropriate. However, to keep plant growth away from buildings, streets, and sidewalks, it is best to use 5% vinegar (food grade and undiluted). Vinegar works as well, or better, than Roundup and without its harmful consequences. For information on toxic herbicides and safe substitutes, please visithttp://www.healthalertphilly.o
I should also add that it appears that the state has been spraying all along the Schuylkill Expressway with similar unsightly and unhealthy results. Thank you for your attention and please let me know what I can do to assist in this matter.
Lynn Landes, Founder
From: Lynn Landes [mailto:LynnLandes@earthlink.n
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2016 3:14 PM
To: 'James.Kenney@phila.gov'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'Cherelle.Parker@phila.gov'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'Bill.Greenlee@phila.gov'; 'Al.Taubenberger@phila.gov'; 'blondell.reynolds.brown@phila
Subject: Today: Dead Vegetation All Along Kelly Drive, Please Stop the Spraying
Dear Mayor & City Council – Please put a stop to herbicide spraying in Fairmount Park and throughout the city. In a week that should showcase how beautiful our city can be, the photo below of dead vegetation due to spraying is what visitors to Fairmount Park are seeing today - all along the east side of Kelly Drive and in spots on West River Drive. I don’t know who is responsible – the city or state – but whoever it is, they should be stopped from doing this ever again. I don’t know if the spray that was used was toxic Roundup or something safe, but most people will assume it is a toxic herbicide. Which is why the vegetation should be manually cut back and not sprayed with anything. In addition, as the founder of HealthAlertPhilly.org and The Wild Foodies of Philly (www.wildfoodies.org), an educational meetup group who studies the edible, medicinal, and other uses of wild plants, herbicide spraying puts at risk the health of people, pets, and nature. Thank you for your attention and my best to you and city council.
Lynn Landes, Founder
217 S. Jessup Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
HUMAN HEALTH COST OF USING GLYPHOSATE:
Other links on Glysophate:
Law firms on leading the way to banning glyphosate - https://www.youhavealawyer.com/roundup/lymphoma-side-effects
This is a good summary, IF the pesticide used by Parks and Rec is glyphosate, i.e., Roundup - https://usrtk.org/pesticides/glyphosate-health-concerns. Also - https://usrtk.org/monsanto-papers
https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jennifer-sass/atsdr-report-confirms-glyphosate-cancer-risks / https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp214.pdf (This is an federal agency report that was put out for public comment)
- Scientists Urge EPA To Recall Roundup Due to Unreasonable Risks
Dr. Mercola's numerous
Gut-Wrenching New Studies Reveal the Insidious Effects of Glyphosate: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/15/glyphosate-health-effects.aspx#!
- Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is possibly "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies”
- Glyphosate residues are found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GM sugar, corn, soy, and wheat
- Research suggests that glyphosate may “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions [including gut bacteria] and induce disease”
- Glyphosate may stimulate hormone-dependent cancers even at extremely low “environmentally relevant” amounts
- Health Impact News list of articles on Glyphosate: https://healthimpactnews.com/?find=glyphosate
- Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water
ENVIRONMENTAL COST OF USING GLYPHOSATE:
The Environmental Impacts of Glyphosate, Friends of the Earth Europe
Sept 2, 2016: Legal Levels of Roundup Pose Risks for Stream Algae
- Aug 30, 2016: Monsanto Mistake Spawns Widespread Crop Losses - https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/monsanto-mistake-spawns-widespread-crop-losses After two decades of planting glyphosate-tolerant crops, resistant weeds have overtaken farm fields across the U.S., leaving farmers to battle an increasingly difficult situation. At least 35 weed species are now resistant to glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto's broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup.Studies have also linked glyphosate to increases in Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a deadly plant disease that causes plants to turn yellow and die — including crops that have never been sprayed with the herbicide but were planted in a field that received an application the previous season.
GOVERNMENTS THAT HAVE TAKEN ACTION AGAINST GLYPHOSATE AND OTHER TOXIC HERBICIDES:
GLYPHOSATE RESTRICTIONS AROUND THE WORLD
10 COUNTRIES ACT AGAINST GLYPHOSATE
FOUR COUNTRIES BAN GLYPHOSATE - https://backtotheroots.com/blogs/bttr/a-complete-list-of-all-countries-that-have-banned-glyphosate
The 5% VINEGAR SOLUTION - Why not use safe & effective household/food grade undiluted "5% Vinegar" to control plant growth on streets, sidewalks, and around park facilities, instead of using toxic chemicals, such as Monsanto's Roundup? SEE the Wild Foodies SPECIAL REPORT -- http://www.wildfoodies.org/Vinegar.docx
THOSE WHO SUPPORT 5% VINEGAR INSTEAD OF TOXIC HERBICIDES LIKE ROUNDUP'S GLYPHOSATE:
NOTE: Why not use 20% vinegar? According to reliable sources, 20% vinegar is 99% acetic acid, dangerous to use, a petroleum derivative, and not organic (see https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2002/spray-weeds-with-vinegar/ andhttps://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Vinegar_vq862.htm The strongest vinegar available in retail stores is 30% but it is far too strong and I do not recommend it. For general use, 20 percent or 200 grain is available but it is stronger than needed. At this strength it is corrosive enough to eat metal and must be handled carefully in plastic containers. It is also dangerous to breathe….Vinegar that is made from the petroleum derivative, 99% acetic acid, is not acceptable in an organic program.)
• Bristol, England: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/24/why-does-bristol-smell-of-vinegar-its-weed-killer/
• Colorado Resident Starts a Petition: http://gazette.com/resident-starts-petition-for-alternative-pesticide-use-in-colorado-springs-parks/article/1584848
• Use vinegar to kill weeds naturally and give Monsanto's Roundup the heave ho: http://www.naturalnews.com/035750_weed_killer_vinegar_Roundup.html
• Hands Down the Best Way to Kill Weeds and It’s Not Roundup: http://www.everydaycheapskate.com/home-and-family/hands-down-the-best-way-to-kill-weeds-and-its-not-roundup/
• Weeds in Paths? Use Vinegar, Not Roundup: http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2011/06/got-weeds-use-vinegar-not-roundup
• Vinegar as an Herbicide? http://www.prescottenews.com/index.php/features/columnists/mountain-gardener/item/27231-vinegar-as-an-herbicide
From NPRs “You Bet Your Garden” >>> Philly radio host Mike McGrath http://www.gardensalive.com/product/round-up-your-weeds-without-nasty-chemicals/you_bet_your_garden
"Round Up" Your Weeds Without Nasty Chemicals!
Question. Dear Mike: Our church has gone "green", but the grounds people still insist on using Roundup. Our local school district's IPM (Integrated Pest Management) manager told me they have not used Roundup since the late 1980's and recommended that the Church stop using it as well. He said that the 'inactive' ingredients (stickers, spreaders, etc.) are more toxic than the active ingredient! Perhaps this would be a good subject for your show...
----Mary Kane;Main Line Unitarian Church, Radnor, PA
Answer. Thank you, Mary! It's been WAY too long since I went on a good garden chemical tirade! I always assume that people realize the extreme dangers posed by herbicides and other garden poisons. But I tend to forget how bombarded they are with ads imploring them to use the junk, often implying that the toxins are somehow harmless. (Like when Monsanto says that their Roundup is harmless as table salt-which is actually kind of true, since salt is one of the most corrosive substances on the planet.)
And yes, evidence strongly suggests that Roundup's so-called 'inert ingredients' (a decision often made solely by the manufacturer) are even worse than the 'active' ingredient, the extremely nasty chemical glyphosate. That's why, when Monsanto talks about their popular Calliban of weed killers, they always say "the active ingredient in Roundup does this or that". They never talk about the actual product,which kills earthworms and beneficial insects, has been linked tonon-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and is taken up internally by any plants it doesn't kill-so if you foolishly use it to control weeds in your veggie garden, you'll be eating Round-Up for the next two years. Yum.
You can get all the scary details from one of my favorite organizations, Beyond Pesticides. I'll post a direct link to their factsheet on glyphosate with this Question of the Week. You can also visit their home site at BeyondPesticides.org
I actually prefer to let others do the scaring you to death part.(Which is more than just a phrase in this case-although they're actually scaring you AWAY from death). My job is to turn you on to the many non-toxic alternatives to poisons like Roundup-like my Fantastic Four of Weed Warriors: Flame, heat, soap and vinegar!
But of course, I MUST first mention mulch. An inch of shredded fall leaves, straw, or clippings from an herbicide-free lawn is your best defense against garden weeds. DO NOT USE WOOD CHIPS, SHREDDED BARK, SAWDUST, "COLORED MULCH" OR OTHER WOOD PRODUCTS AROUND PLANTS-they steal nitrogen from the soil and prevent water from reaching roots. Don't use them within 30 feet of your home or car either-unless you like impossible-to-remove shotgun fungus stains.
I use a weed whacker on the grass that grows in the lanes between my raised beds. I used to use woods chips in the lanes-a place in which they are perfectly safe-but I've come to prefer whacking once a month. The grass 'captures' nutrients that leach out of the beds, and then I 'harvest' it for mulch and compost making. Plus I get to make a lot of noise and get all dirty and then run through the sprinkler.
VINEGAR! A POWERFUL herbicide! (So be careful not to splash your 'wanted' plants!) You can just fill a spray bottle with regular old white vinegar and spritz away...
You Bet Your Garden ©2004 Mike McGrath