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Pesticide Lawsuits and the Threat Hiding in the Perfect Lawn


Pesticide Lawsuits and the Threat Hiding in the Perfect Lawn

Lauren Sandford

In 2012, Dewayne Anthony Lee Johnson took a job as groundskeeper for a California county school district. “I did everything,” he said in an interview with Time magazine. “Caught skunks, mice, and raccoons, patched holes in walls, worked on irrigation issues.”


And Monsanto continues to advertise Roundup on TV. The environment has a lot of cleansing to do.


The perfect lawn is simply a consequence of Roman colonization and its descendants. Won’t find me putting anything on my plants or animals. I and they are doing just fine, thanks.


Walk into any Lowe’s and find hundreds of gallons of RoundUp in displays and on the shelf. People keep buying it…

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“The Perfect Lawn” is a bizarre abomination, stripped of most life.

We need natural ecology, not insane dominator aesthetics.


While occasionally there is a wonderful story of “consumers holding corporations accountable,” the overall narrative is one of sweeping and accelerating corporate impunity.

We don’t “win” in broad social or ecological terms, if the “adversarial lawsuit” is what we are reduced to. That’s what the neoliberals / corporate libertarians want, claiming it will cure all problems of corporate malfeasance as “the invisible hand” of “the marketplace” supposedly inevitably leads to perfection and best outcomes for all… if we just submit to corporate libertarianism.

Even “government regulation” has proved terribly insufficient, susceptible to “regulatory capture” where corporate reps take over the very agencies that are supposed to regulate the corporations (a long-standing problem that has reached new depths with Trump’s departmental appointees).

Corporate hubris and license need to be reined in on a fundamental basis. “The corporation” needs to be stripped of much of its power, and re-structured to operate within strict democratic and environmental limits, with simple direct methods of ecological and community accountability.

EDIT: The owners and investors in corporations also need to be stripped of their “limited liability.” It empirically leads to horrific outcomes for humanity and the world, to allow the owners / investors to get off scot free for the crimes committed by the businesses they own / own shares in.


I’m happy to say that I’m seeing a lot more native plants in the environment, the sign of a healthy ecology or at least a healing from a more toxic time. We can hold corporations accountable and simply stop using their products. I don’t shop at Lowe’s, the plants they sell are treated too.

It is very time consuming to use the same standards of proof that produced regulatory approval to impeach the process that produces round up. Luckily there are some good alternatives.


“People keep buying”

Seems like the public needs a little more information on this.


Is it true that Roundup doesn’t biodegrade? Are there ways to get rid of it in the soil? It has been used for a long time over much of the world. It will eventually be stopped, I believe. But like plastics and so much other modern pollution, the cleanup?


Good Question. I don’t know but it must partially breakdown because it has to be re-applied. This site has a lot of information about that: you have to use the chemical name and with round up it is the combination of chemicals that make it more toxic.

Pesticide action network.

This is an example for one of the chemicals:


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Thanks, that got me started. One article says most lawn pesticides are required to break down within four days. Roundup seems to have avoided this regulation.
Its life seems to vary primarily with temperature, lasting from a few days to two years in a Swedish soil analysis. It does not break down while in surface water. Soil organisms break it down.
So if it got sprayed on something without soil,…, it needs to be washed off, and then! that water should be put into soil. Unlikely.


Glad you found that helpful, it is hard to get reliable information on this subject. If you look at DDT it is still around after being banned years ago, or DDE as it degrades. Usage of Round up in my area is by the ton. As you point out it doesn’t stay in the place it is applied.


To foster the elimination of roundup:

  1. Allow suburbia to plant gardens and shrubbery instead of grass.
  2. Along highways and in public spaces use trees and shrubbery.
  3. Tolerate mix of species in grassy areas.

Sure, you can have a functional use of space without chemical restraints. Things change over time and conditions but it takes an average of five years before you can say an area is organic. It is a good practice to learn about what actually likes to grow in your area, and thrive. Successful wild areas are not monocultures. It is a different mind set.


OK, you’re talking about going all the way to wild. Areas like vacant lots, for instance, used to be. Wow, that would take an arm and a leg to convince suburbia.


Well, not exactly, but there is a range of possibilities. When you talk about green spaces, garden’s and all, you evoke different care requirements and the tendency to tinker with nature. It is a learning experience. The vacant lot and abandoned areas are growing (excuse the pun) in number, actually whole towns.


Soils are living things: