PO Box 5426

Berkeley, CA 94705


HERBICIDES      Ending toxic chemical use on our lands

Literally hundreds of gallons of these toxins are applied to thousands of felled tree stumps and "weeds"

(i.e., unwanted plants), over years, in "treatment" areas.  Thus the poisons enter our interconnected

environment.  Trees, plants, soil, rainwater, streams, lakes, hillsides, insects, mammals, birds, raptors,

dogs, children and adults are all within a web of life, as we learn in grade school as children.  And also in

Rachel Carson's seminal 1962 book, "Silent Spring," which helped launch the modern environmental

movement almost six decades ago.  It's relevant to note that the chemical industry attacked her book

then, just as it attacks all the damning scientific research today, threatening a billion dollar industry.

Unfortunately, despite common sense, grade school teachings, university studies and hundreds of scientific tests demonstrating their toxicity, pesticides/herbicides are still legally, routinely used nation-wide and worldwide—and on Oakland and Berkeley public lands.  This, ultimately, is due to millions of multinational chemical company dollars.  The industry has lobbied aggressively with public relations and ad campaigns to convince — or corrupt with dollars— federal, state and city governments and regulatory agencies like the EPA which has allowed an exponentially expanded use of these poisons.  These ad and P.R. campaigns, as with the tobacco industry, protect literally billions of dollars in annual worldwide profits.

                                                   READ LA Times story, "California lists Roundup ingredient as a chemical linked to cancer"


                                                   READ Reuters story, "Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence"

                                                   READ NY Times story, "Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety..."


Because of the tremendous harm they pose to the public, to wildlife, to groundwater, streams, lakes and our precious, dwindling forests, The Hills Conversation Network is opposed to their use, period.  Especially since their use is not even absolutely necessary, just convenient, profitable, and now habitual.

LITERATURE on pesticides/herbicides:

Each chapter of "The Myths of Safe Pesticides" dispels one of the many myths about the safety of pesticides, and by extension, the government regulators and corporate community evaluating them:

MYTH 1.  All agricultural poisons are rigorously tested. Actually, of the more than 88,000 chemical compounds unleashed on the world since the end of World War II, only a few hundred have been (inadequately) tested, only three have ever been banned, and none has been tested in combination with any of the others, inside the human body.

MYTH 2.  Very small amount. The old adage is the dose makes the poison. Actually, the body doesn't care about massive amounts. It's the tiniest parts per billion and even trillion that latch on to proteins, hormones and cells, block communications from the brain, disrupt the stability of the network, and create massive imbalances in cell growth (cancers) and the various "new" chronic diseases of the past 25 years. It's the tiny amounts that kill.

MYTH 3.  Modern pesticides rapidly degrade. Actually, residues concentrate the poisons. When toxic poisons biodegrade they can become oxons, 100 times more toxic than the original pesticide. Glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup) at residue levels induces human breast cancer cells to multiply 8-13 times. It grows cancer.

MYTH 4.  Reliable Regulatory Authorities. Actually, they can be counted on for absolutely no protection whatsoever. See review of "Poison Spring" by E.G. Vallianatos, a 25-year veteran administrator at the EPA.

The majority of East Bay Hills (and SF Bay Area) residents oppose using poisons — pesticides, and the sub-categories herbicides and insecticides — on public lands.  And with good reason.  Numerous independent studies demonstrate them to be carcinogens and endocrine disruptors; toxic to plant life, and harmful to the gut bacteria of mammals—and humans.



Those who advocate cutting down trees and then using herbicides (like Dow Garlon) to kill the stumps often claim only “tiny” or “small" amounts of these toxic chemicals will be used, to calm public fear.  


But cutting down 100,000 trees (a conservative estimate of deforestation plans HCN has thwarted) and treating their stumps with an (also conservatively) estimated 3 oz. of herbicide per stump adds up to thousands of gallons of herbicides (if applied to manufacturer's specifications):


3 oz/stump twice/year for 5-10 years x 100,000 trees

= 6oz/year x 5-10 years = 30-60oz/tree

x 100,000 trees = 3-6 million oz. over 5-10 years.  

Divide by 128oz per gallon...




Even this massive (and conservative) estimate is not complete.  It only accounts for applications to tree stumps, NOT additional herbicide routinely sprayed on vegetation like hemlock, thistle, poison oak, broom and grasses that grow quickly where forests are cut down.  These smaller plants dry out in summer and autumn and are more easily ignitable than fog-capturing forests, dramatically increasing the chance of wildfire ignition and rapid, uncontrollable spread. Read why.