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East Bay School District Bans Chemical Found In Roundup Weed Killer

CONCORD (KPIX 5) -- The Mount Diablo Unified School District voted unanimously to ban the active ingredient found in the Roundup weed killer from school property Monday evening.

The proposed ban was added to the agenda after many parents and community members emailed the district about their concerns.

The school board also voted that any remaining glyphosate products be immediately removed from all district sites. The district said it had not used any products since October of last year.

Sheila Hill has been a garden educator in the district for the last eight years.

"There's a growing number of studies showing that Roundup is a carcinogen, it's not safe, it's an endocrine disruptor," said Hill. "It's definitely not something that should be used around children."

Hill hopes the district will adopt organic and other non-toxic methods to kill weeds.

Last August, a San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million to former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who is dying of cancer, saying the company's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease.

Johnson was the first to go to trial among hundreds filed in state and federal courts.


Nicole Harlin has two young children in the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

"It's scary because there's so many things that you don't know can cause something until this happens," said Harlin. "Why even risk it? You get it out of your own house, why not get it out of your schools, too?"

Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer, has denied that there is a link between glyphosate and cancer. The EPA said last month that there is no risk to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label.

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