There are 34,000 golf courses in the world. They make beautiful pictures. But what keeps the grass of the fairways and greens so uniform and undisturbed by weeds?
Chemical herbicides. One of the herbicide is Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto, the giant corporation owned by Bayer.
It’s now common knowledge that a link has been drawn between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer…decided in 2015 that glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.” (Mother Jones, March 14, 2019)
The research on the Monsanto pesticide Roundup is far from a finished product. Is it possible that Roundup causes other forms of cancer—brain, colon, and blood, for example? It will be hard to prove, in part because Monsanto can produced a hundred studies that contradict each lone study that says Yes.
But where are the golfers who have cancer? Nowhere, correct? Let’s find out.
“After the death of his [golf-playing] father, from the blood cancer Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, filmmaker Andrew Nisker starts hunting for answers to his many questions about why this particular cancer, and where it came from. His search, to his surprise, takes him into the manicured world of golf. In this world of pearl white bunkers, and putting greens that look and feel like velvet, Andrew discovers that these ‘greenspaces’ are anything but. There’s a lot more than nature at work creating these perfect carpets. At a golf industry trade show he sees the array of chemicals on offer to achieve that championship perfection. To his surprise, he hears at the show that golfers have consistently shown resistance to caring about any health or environmental impacts of their sport.”
“Andrew forms a bond with a sportscaster in Pittsburgh who is blaming golf course pesticides for the cancer death of his own father, a golf course superintendent.”
“As he follows up on his hunt to find out more about pesticide use on golf courses, Andrew asks can golfers themselves learn to kick the chemical habit? He’s convinced that if golfers knew what goes into maintaining the artificial beauty they play on, they’d learn to love dandelions a little more.” (Dad and the Dandelions, CBC TV, March 2, 2017)
A recent lawsuit involved Roundup as a cause of lymphoma: “The groundskeeper who won a massive civil suit against Bayer’s Monsanto claiming that the weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer has agreed to accept $78 million, after a judge substantially reduced the jury’s original $289 million award.”
“Dewayne ‘Lee’ Johnson, a Northern Californian groundskeeper and pest-control manager, was 42 when he developed a strange rash that would lead to a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August 2014.”
“His groundskeeper duties included mixing and spraying hundreds of gallons of Roundup, the company’s glyphosate-containing weedkiller product, court records say.” (NPR, November 1, 2018)