Dear friends in Napa/Sonoma:
In March 2015, the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France ruled that the broad-spectrum systemic herbicide glyphosate — the active ingredient in Round-Up — is a likely carcinogen. Studies have linked the herbicide, which is widely used in agribusiness to control weeds, to a wide array of human health and environmental problems (from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to Colony Collapse Disorder among bees). And, as many of you know, glyphosate is widely used in wine. Please open the attached scanned letter to see single-year quantities applied to vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties.
A group of friends is undertaking cutting-edge research to determine the levels of glyphosate in store-bought wines. They are conducting a rigorous testing program. Based on the initial work they’ve done, there’s a good chance that the results will be fairly alarming. That’s very unfortunate. On the bright side, it may also generate pressure on conventional grape growers to adopt more environmentally responsible practices.
Based on various indications I’ve seen and heard about, I believe the public health impacts of glyphosate are likely to “break through,” as it were, and become a major concern among the general public. In that light, I think these tests are a very important undertaking. Fortunately, the tests are relatively inexpensive due to recent scientific advances. The people conducting them need to raise only $2,000 and have already raised at least $500.
Please read the attached letter and share it with those who might be interested in donating.
Thank you very much,