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Last week, the city of Miami passed a resolution banning the use of glyphosate herbicide on city property. Beginning immediately, the city will no longer allow the use of glyphosate, an herbicide brought to the market by Monsanto under the name Roundup. Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and potential pollutant.
The resolution was sponsored by Miami Commissioner Ken Russell and co-sponsored by Mayor Francis Suarez. It was presented at City Hall last week and passed unanimously.
Russell said that he got involved with the bill as a response to the "blue-green algae blooms, red tide, and fecal contamination" that recently surfaced in Miami. The explosive algae blooms in Florida's lakes may sound nice, but they actually cover lakes with pollution taking the form of green slime. Furthermore, glyphosate can destroy aquatic plant ecosystems, including coral reefs — and Russell clearly sees that.
"Water quality issues are so important to the city of Miami, and we can be one of the worst polluters as a municipality," Russell said. "We ask for residents to make a change in their habits and that they be conscious of what they put in their gardens, but when I realized the totality of what the city uses at any given time, we had to change our habits."
In addition to causing pollution, glyphosate is also a probable carcinogen, according to a 2015 monograph by the cancer arm of the World Health Organization.
Miami typically uses 4,800 gallons of products containing glyphosate every year — meaning the new ban is going to significantly reduce the amount of glyphosate in the air and water. While the ban does not keep private businesses or citizens from using Roundup, Russell hopes that the bill will inspire people to make better, healthier choices about weed control for the environment and for people's health.
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