June 29, 2020: Demand Mayor Kenney and City Council Ban Toxic Spraying in Fairmount Park & Publicly-Owned Spaces! (Previous letters)

From: Lynn Landes []
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2020 3:39 PM
To: 'Mayor James Kenney';;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Subject: Philly P&R continues to spray toxic herbicides in Fairmount Park - Bayer/Monsanto Agrees to $10B Settlement With Victims Poisoned by Roundup Weedkiller


Dear Mayor Kenney and City Council:  It is totally irresponsible for anyone to continue to use toxic herbicides and pesticides in this day and age see article below. Yet, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation continues the practice in Fairmount Park see the attached photographs in West Fairmount Park.

This email is the latest in a series of emails over the years that have been sent to you on this subject, which also includes the safest solutions to toxic herbicides manual removal and 5% household vinegar &

Despite widespread support on City Council, no legislation outlawing the use of toxic herbicides or pesticides has been passed. So, PPR continues to poison people, pets, and wildlife. 

Please pass legislation that will, once and for all, ban the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides. We will be more than happy to assist in this effort.

Lynn Landes, Founder
The Wild Foodies of Philly (our resource website) (our 5,000+ member meetup)


SEND TO:;;;;;;;;; brian.o';;;;;;;;  AND PARK & REC:;;;;;;

MAY 28, 2019

Dear Mayor Kenney and City Council: 

Please pass an ordinance that will put a stop to spraying toxic herbicides in Philadelphia’s public parks. It is important to protect the public’s health as well as limit the city’s exposure to litigation from those harmed by these chemicals.   Despite the green light the EPA recently gave glyphosate (see article below), the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, it has become abundantly clear that these herbicides are not safe. The World Health Organization has declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, and many law firms are advertising on TV for clients who have been injured by Roundup.  For example:  How do you qualify to be a litigant?  “Many victims, including farm workers, landscape professionals, golf course green-keepers, and private homeowners have already come forward to file claims against Monsanto after being exposed to glyphosate and contracting non-hodgkins lymphoma.”

My name is Lynn Landes and I am the Founder of the Wild Foodies of Philly, an educational meetup with over 4500 members who like to learn about wild plants for food, fiber, and medicine. Here is a recent Inquirer article about what we do: 

This Memorial Day weekend, I was once again dismayed to discover that parts of the Art Museum area, Lemon Hill, and Kelly Drive, including the area north of the East Falls Bridge along the bike path – areas that are heavily used by the public - had been sprayed with what appears to be an herbicide.  In the case of Lemon Hill and the Art Museum, some steep banks had been completely defoliated (see photos above). 

In 2017 after a similar incident, I sent you a few letters and lots of information about making Philadelphia’s parks toxic-free -  I am asking you again to please protect public safety, avoid costly lawsuits, and ban toxic herbicides from Philadelphia’s public parks. Even if the product used was safe, such as 5% household vinegar (which we highly recommended for use on sidewalks and curbs), it makes more sense to use a trimmer to cut back vegetation, not an herbicide that leaves behind an unsightly mess.  Here is the report we did on the use of 5% Vinegar -

It is really harmful for the environment (flora and fauna) when property, particularly along a tree line, is sprayed with chemicals.  The tree line is one of the best places for wildlife to eat and nest.  And although the Wild Foodies don’t ‘forage’ the parks, we do ‘nibble’ here and there.  The city should encourage the public to pick berries and learn more about nature.  But, that can’t happen ‘safely’ if people have to fear ingesting Roundup at the same time.  

Consider, we all walk in the parks and sit in the grass with our children and dogs. These toxic chemicals can seep into our skin and stick to our shoes as we walk back into our homes, contaminating our floors and carpets where our pets and small children (and grandchildren, in my case) spend much of their time.  

Please protect the planet and the public, and avoid liability. Pass an ordinance to stop the spraying.  And let me know what else I can do to further assist you.

Lynn Landes, Founder
The Wild Foodies of Philly (our resource website) (our meetup)

From Phyllis Rubin, Board Member, GMO Free PA  (

Mayor Kenney and City Council might also want to know the following.  

1. The California state Environmental Protection Agency just passed a ruling that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is to be added to their list of chemicals known to cause cancer. It takes effect on July 7:

2. Here’s the link to the study (published by one of the most respected peer-reviewed science journals in the world) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research section of the World Health Organization, which prompted the WHO to classify glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen:

3. Roundup is routinely sprayed on our food. For those who don’t already know, the vast, vast majority of food that is genetically engineered (known as GMO) is altered to be able to tolerate the killing effects of Roundup. Roundup/glyphosate is very effective plant killer because it is quickly transmitted systemically, cell to cell throughout the plant. But this also means that glyphosate is in virtually all processed foods. (Note that certified organic standards prohibit any genetically engineered ingredients.) 

The GMO crop idea is to spray the entire field with Roundup to kill weeds, while the GMO crop still stands. Transnational biotech corporations develop and sell both the GMO seeds and their accompanying herbicide. (Monsanto manufacturers Roundup and Roundup Ready seed.) In 2016’s growing season in the US, 94% of soy, 92% of corn, 95% of canola, 89% of cotton, and 100% of sugar beets were genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant. (Corn and cotton are also engineered to secrete insecticide from every cell.) Overuse of the same herbicide has caused the problem of immune “superweeds,” which now infest 75% of commodity farm fields. This phenomenon has triggered a spiral of increasingly toxic herbicides applied to crops; a sort of pesticide versus weeds arms race.

Airborne herbicides and gene-altered pollen threatens wild plants, non-GMO crops, and organic certification of farms. Pesticide toxins (including neonicotinoid insecticide GMO seed treatment coatings) have destroyed soil fertility, caused widespread water pollution, genetic deformity of amphibians and fish, and massive colony collapse of pollinators (bees, butterflies, and birds). 

In 2016, Philadelphia City Council passed unanimously a resolution calling on the federal government to label genetically engineered food. The resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown.

Organic farming yields greater quantities and more nutrient-dense (and flavorful!) food. For now, the USDA organic standards still prohibit any genetic engineering in certified organic fresh or processed products. 

On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Lynn Landes <> wrote:

Photos above taken Sept 18, 2016.

Subject: RE: Dead Vegetation All Along Kelly Drive, Please Stop the Spraying

Dear Mayor & City Council – It has been almost 2 months since I wrote to you about Kelly Drive, Martin Luther King Drive, and many other parts of Fairmount Park that were sprayed with a toxic herbicide. As you can see from the photos below (taken two months apart), the result continues to be an unsightly and unhealthy situation for people, pets, and nature in general. These dangerous chemicals get tracked inside homes where children and pets play on the floor. Also, people may nibble on a wild berry or eat a dandelion, not realizing that it’s been sprayed with toxic chemicals.

So, I am once again encouraging the city to ban any future use of toxic herbicides as a way to control plant growth in the city of Philadelphia.

As I recommended in my first email, it is best to use a machine or manually trim along a tree line. Many important plants, bushes, and trees thrive along the tree line and supply food for birds, bees, and other wild life, therefore any type of herbicide is not appropriate. However, to keep plant growth away from buildings, streets, and sidewalks, it is best to use 5% vinegar (food grade and undiluted). Vinegar works as well, or better, than Roundup and without its harmful consequences. For information on toxic herbicides and safe substitutes, please visit

I should also add that it appears that the state has been spraying all along the Schuylkill Expressway with similar unsightly and unhealthy results. Thank you for your attention and please let me know what I can do to assist in this matter.

Lynn Landes, Founder

From: Lynn Landes []
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2016 3:14 PM
To: ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'brian.o''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''

Subject: Today: Dead Vegetation All Along Kelly Drive, Please Stop the Spraying

Dear Mayor & City Council – Please put a stop to herbicide spraying in Fairmount Park and throughout the city. In a week that should showcase how beautiful our city can be, the photo below of dead vegetation due to spraying is what visitors to Fairmount Park are seeing today - all along the east side of Kelly Drive and in spots on West River Drive. I don’t know who is responsible – the city or state – but whoever it is, they should be stopped from doing this ever again. I don’t know if the spray that was used was toxic Roundup or something safe, but most people will assume it is a toxic herbicide. Which is why the vegetation should be manually cut back and not sprayed with anything. In addition, as the founder of and The Wild Foodies of Philly (, an educational meetup group who studies the edible, medicinal, and other uses of wild plants, herbicide spraying puts at risk the health of people, pets, and nature. Thank you for your attention and my best to you and city council.

Lynn Landes, Founder
217 S. Jessup Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107