Maintenance crew uses healthy dose of Roundup

Many school districts have banned Roundup but Valley College continues to use herbicide

By Jessica Lange, Special to the Star

CANCER – Although school districts such as Burbank, Irvine, and Glendale have banned the use of Roundup, Valley College continues to use it on the 104-acre campus.

Valley has been using Roundup since at least 1989 to control weeds in the landscape. The amount of Roundup used depends on the number of weeds, according to campus officials.  Hundreds of districts have eliminated the use of this chemical because research says that it causes cancer. The chemical glyphosate has been added to Proposition 65, which requires businesses to provide warnings that ingredients are “known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm.”

According to Jack Epling, the gardening supervisor at Valley, “Roundup is used on all the spaces that are not grass.”  For example, it is used on the shrub beds, planter area, and the bushes.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced the main ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

CNN reported that “more than 800 cancer patients are suing Monsanto, the maker of Roundup.”

However, some people have argued that Roundup is not carcinogenic. Even though LA County has banned it, businesses continue to use it.

According to Tom Lopez, the director of Valley College facilities, “there are certain levels of pesticides and Roundup has the lowest level of toxicity. I think we’re operating at a safe manner. I don’t have any reservations, and I am confident in Jack’s abilities.”

However, like restaurants that are required to post the use of glyphosate, Valley College freshman Anahi Hernandez said, “the college should make it known to the students that Roundup is used on campus.”

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