Two cities on opposite ends of the U.S. have banned the use of popular weed killer Roundup.
On May 22, the Miami Herald reported the Key West City Commission banned the use of herbicides that contain glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, on city-owned property.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors made a similar decision in March, issuing a temporary moratorium on Roundup, U.S. News & World Report wrote. According to the article, the board of supervisors called on the city’s Department of Public Works to look into health and environmental concerns related to the product.
The decision came a week after a California jury ordered Bayer, which owns Monsanto, $2 billion in damages to a couple who claimed the product led to them contract cancer. The company said it plans to appeal the verdict.
This is not the first case where juries awarded damages in connection to Roundup.
In October 2018, a Northern California groundskeeper accepted $78 million from Monsanto after a judge reduced the award from $289 million, and in March, another California man received an $80 million decision. According to The Associated Press, the company is facing more than 11,000 similar lawsuits.
Following the recent $2 billion verdict, Bayer saw its stock fall nearly 2%, The Washington Post reported. According to the article, the company’s value has fallen about 45% since it acquired Monsanto for $63 billion last summer.
The debate about glyphosate has been ongoing for some time. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the chemical as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015, however, the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency decided it likely does not cause cancer in people in a 2017 draft human health risk assessment.
Glyphosate is still the most widely used herbicide in the world, CNN Health reported, in part because of its help in reducing carbon emissions.
More than 30 countries outside the U.S. and more than 80 U.S. cities and counties have banned or restricted the chemical, according to the website of law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, which represents clients in Roundup-related cases.