Miami bans popular weed killer for use in city parks, projects

Miami Gardens photo

The City of Miami has banned its landscaping crews from using weed killers that contain glyphosate, a herbicide brought to the market by Monsanto under the name Roundup.

The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and potential pollutant.

“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,” the nonprofit Public Interest Research Group said in a news release. “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.”

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.

Last year, a jury awarded multi-million-dollar damages to Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper and pest-control manager at a Northern California school district who contracted cancer – and blamed it on his job spraying the weed killer for years. More than 8,000 other plaintiffs are making the same claim, Bloomberg News reports. 

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer acquired Monsanto last year.

The City of Stuart, on the state’s southeast coast, also banned its city crews from using glyphosate.

Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book is Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.


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