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Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.

Guest post by Mei Collins, CALPIRG summer intern working on our Ban Roundup campaign: 

Today, a federal court in San Francisco will be hearing Monsanto’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs for a failure to prosecute in cases regarding their popular pesticide, RoundUp. In other words, Monsanto is claiming that the plaintiffs’ allegations against the product are not legally sufficient to state a claim. However, just two months ago, a jury in Oakland reached a $2 billion verdict against Monsanto, determining that RoundUp’s dangers were not adequately communicated to consumers. Thousands of other cases remain queued in the courts accusing Monsanto of selling a carcinogenic product with misleading information. 

RoundUp’s key ingredient in question is glyphosate, which has been linked by the World Health Organization to cancer. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer found a positive association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, concluding that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Despite conflicting conclusions, the EPA still classifies glyphosate as a Group E chemical, claiming that there is strong evidence that it does not cause cancer in humans. Recent reports have shown that this classification is largely based on an evaluation of private studies paid for by Monsanto itself, instead of private, peer-reviewed studies that provide evidence that glyphosate may cause genotoxicity. 

Recently, California has been making efforts to provide protections against RoundUp. In 2017, the state added glyphosate to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act as a carcinogenic chemical. Now, the California legislature has a new bill under consideration, AB 916 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, to prohibit the use of “any pesticide that contains the active ingredient glyphosate” until 2025 in any city, county, charter city, city and county, or special district. 

But many California communities aren't waiting for the courts, or the legislature, to take action to restrict the use of Roundup, and/or its key ingredient glyphosate.

We created a map of every California ordinance that we could find:

You can check out the details of the map to see which communities have by visiting our Ban Roundup campaign page

As you can see, community support is growing for alternatives to Roundup, and it’s not stopping or slowing down. Pressure from concerned parents and scientists are pushing cities to adopt Integrated Pest Management strategies, implementing organic methods of pest control. Roundup presents potential dangers to the most vulnerable in our communities, from our children to groundskeepers, and it is important to take action now. 

CALPIRG is calling on the legislature to ban Roundup unless and until it's proven safe for crop use and our communities.

- Mei Collins, a student attending Harvard University, is spending her summer as an intern with CALPIRG. 

Emily Rusch
Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Author: Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

(510) 844-6803

Started on staff: 2001
B.A., Willamette University

Emily is the senior director for state organizations for The Public Interest Network. She works nationwide with the state group directors for PIRG and Environment America to help them build stronger organizations and achieve greater success. Emily was the executive director for CALPIRG from 2009-2021, overseeing a myriad of CALPIRG campaigns to protect public health, protect consumers in the marketplace, and promote a robust democracy. Emily works in our Oakland, California, office, and loves camping, hiking, gardening and cooking with her family.