One little voice may often not change much, but 90,000 of those small voices make a difference. They were apparently enough to force the UK supermarket Waitrose to remove all of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide bottles from their shelves.
A Care2 petition allowed thousands of people to express their concern over a major chain continuing to sell a glyphosate-based herbicide after the World Health Organization’s IARC declared the chemical ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans. It is equally deadly to honey bees, according to Dr. Lucila H. Herbert and a study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
After the petition was sent to Waitrose, a representative from their customer service department responded:
“I’m pleased to confirm that the last time we sold Roundup was in January this year. We’re committed to protecting our pollinators and after careful consideration decided to remove this product from our business.”
Other businesses in the UK, like German retailer REWE (toom Baumarkt), have also removed glyphosate-based products from their stores. The retailer made this decision in 2013. Dominique Rotondi, General Purchasing Manager for the chain, stated:
“As a responsible company, it is important to regularly review our entire range and seek to protect the environment and nature with alternative and more sustainable options. Toom Baumarkt is constantly and consistently developing a more sustainable portfolio of products.”
The French Environment and Energy Minister Ségolène Royal has also asked stores to stop selling Roundup. Even Sri Lanka’s newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, has announced that the import of Monsanto’s favorite killing-tool, glyphosate, will no longer be allowed in the country.
But what about U.S. retailers?
Popular DIY stores Lowe’s and Home Depot have hinted that they would stop selling neonicotinoids, another class of pesticides associated with bee colony collapse, but they both continue to sell Roundup. You can sign a petition here, to hopefully convince these retailers to stop, as UK citizens successfully did with Waitrose.
Featured image sourced and modified: The Sun