California farmers who want to spray herbicide-treated cactus crops for weed control need to do so with some form of herbicide, according to a report by a state senator.
The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday that Senator Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who is also a former state senator, wrote a letter to the California Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (CA-AWAR) and the California Fish and Game Commission (CAGCO) urging them to adopt regulations mandating the use of herbicides, including glyphosate, as an alternative to spraying with other chemicals.
California farmers have complained for years that herbicides have caused them to suffer from toxic side effects including skin rashes, hair loss and even death.
California lawmakers passed legislation last year to require farmers to spray their herbicide applications with glyphosate, a chemical widely used to treat weed and aphids.
The bill passed in response to reports that glyphosate is linked to cancer, birth defects, and increased rates of asthma and heart disease.
The letter from Ammiani, a former agronomist and a former chair of the state Assembly’s agriculture committee, was signed by two other senators.
The California AgriLife Coalition, a coalition of farmers and conservation groups, wrote in a statement that “we commend Senator Ammio for his courageous stance and call on him to act to protect the health of our state’s farmers and communities.”