LETTER: Clallam County should not use glyphosate against invasive plants

The Clallam County noxious weed department is implementing herbicide spraying this summer to rid “noxious” roadside plants.

A primary herbicide in the County Noxious Weed Plan is a Monsanto glyphosate formulation — AquaNeat, a choice the county should rethink.

(We need proof that this is the primary herbicide.)

A litany of scientific literature exists correlating glyphosate formulations and serious health and environmental hazards.

These include disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, DNA damage, developmental and reproductive interference, birth defects, cancer and neurotoxicity.

California state scientists are issuing the world’s first health guideline for Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide based on its cancer risk, a level more than 100 times lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows.

A nine-year study, between 2001 and 2010, in 38 states by U.S. Geological Survey scientists was conducted in U.S. rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands, precipitation, soil and sediment, soil water, ditches, drains, and groundwater.

Glyphosate was found in 39.4 percent of samples.

Its principle metabolite, AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) was found in 55 percent of all samples including 70 percent of rain samples.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General initiated a probe into possible collusion between Monsanto and a top EPA official who provided favorable assessments of glyphosate’s safety.

Glyphosate’s success ridding desired weeds is not permanent.

The undesired weeds return.

As for its soil impacts, this broad spectrum poison can destroy beneficial microorganisms and bacteria needed for desired plants replacing the invasives.

Marin Municipal Water District officials stopped using glyphosate for invasive shrubs, as have other California towns and some countries.

Clallam County should follow their wisdom.

Darlene Schanfald,


EDITOR’S NOTE: Schanfald is public outreach and education coordinator for the Rayonier AM former pulp mill site and Port Angele Harbor cleanup for the Olympic Environmental Council, of Clallam and Jefferson counties.