Adding to the growing momentum in Ventura County for better protections from pesticide use, the Oxnard School District (OSD) has banned Glyphosate—the toxic ingredient in RoundUp. To a cheering May 1st crowd, the district’s Board of Trustees adopted a resolution directing the district to halt all purchase and use of products containing Glyphosate. The OSD action comes in the wake of two recent $80 million California court cases that found Glyphosate “substantial factor” in the victims’ development of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The resolution will also require District personnel and contractors to select nonchemical pest management methods over chemical methods whenever such methods are effective in providing the desired pest control and consider “alternative treatments” for pest control including physical, horticultural, and biological methods. The unanimous vote came after weeks of vocal demands from the Ventura County Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety (VC-CAPS) members and Oxnard residents calling for stronger pesticide regulations in the district, city, and county. Wednesday night, dozens of VC-CAPS members and Oxnard residents in attendance shared their hope of the resolution extending to other cities and school districts in Ventura County. One speaker quoted Dewayne Johnson, the school groundskeeper who won the first case against Monsanto, who said, “I want to see all these schools stop using glyphosate, first California, then the rest of the country. That is my small mission.”
“We are very happy with the decision and want others to know: you can do it too, and we’re here to help you do it,” said Olga Medina, a Lideres Campesinas and VC-CAPS member from Oxnard.
“The community applauds the Oxnard School District’s leadership and commitment to fostering a healthy learning environment for staff and students alike by shifting away from the reliance on toxic pesticides and instead focusing on much safer alternative management practices,” said Dayane Zuniga, an alumnus of OSD schools.” This is a good day for our community’s health.”
Ventura County Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety (VC CAPS) is a member of the CPR network. Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) is a diverse, statewide coalition of over 190 member groups working to strengthen pesticide policies in California to protect public health and the environment. Member groups include public and children’s health advocates, clean air and water groups, health practitioners, environmental justice groups, labor, education, farmers and sustainable agriculture advocates from across the state.