By: Jim Wilson

It has come to my attention that the city is using glyphosate to kill weeds throughout town and especially around the apple trees at Roger's Grove. While I do not expect the apples to be "organic," I do expect that the city would not spray such a harmful chemical near food products available to the public or near waterways.

While the chemical industry claims that glyphosate is safe, studies show otherwise. To quote a study in "Entropy" magazine, "Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies".

Glyphosate interferes with fundamental biochemical reactions and may predispose humans to obesity, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other health problems. Describing the effects of glyphosate, the Entropy article states: "Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time."

It is the "over time" issue that is of concern. The short term shows little impact from glyphosate but when used over time it has been shown to cause multiple problems involving the destruction of good bacteria in human digestive systems. The chemical is also harmful to aquatic life so when used in areas near water sources, such as the St. Vrain creek and associated ponds, it will have an impact on the fish in those wetlands. Birds, such as herons, pelicans, and ospreys eat the fish and will be negatively impacted by the use of this chemical.

The use of any chemicals under the trees at Roger's Grove serves no purpose other than to kill grass so it is easier to mow. Good orchards let grass grow right up to the trees so there is no reason to kill the grass other than to accommodate the mowers. I ask if it is really appropriate to poison us and the environment just to make mowing easier?

I have written to the City Council, the city manager, and the director of the Parks Department regarding these concerns but have yet to receive the courtesy of a reply from anyone. This is very disrespectful on their part, but more importantly, they don't seem to care that they are poisoning Longmont residents. It is bad enough that individual residents choose to use extensive chemicals on their properties, but for the City to condone such use is clearly inappropriate. We should not be guinea pigs and I ask the city to stop the use of glyphosate immediately in the interest of public and environmental health.

Jim Wilson is a Longmont resident.

Originally Published: Times Call