.Roundup at Rialto

‘Children of the Vine’ screens

With 2.3 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides used annually in Sonoma County—97% on wine grapes, including 30 tons of Roundup, the investigative documentary Children of the Vine couldn’t be more timely. Shot primarily in the famed wine regions of Napa and Sonoma counties, the film makes its debut for a one day showing on July 12 at the Rialto Cinemas, Sebastopol.  It is an unsettling investigation into the controversial herbicide Roundup and its impact on public health.

Directed by filmmaker Brian Lilla, who after moving to Napa Valley to start a family, witnessed the nightmare unfolding around him as farm workers sprayed vineyards with thousands of gallons of Roundup each winter. Beyond the manicured beauty of Napa’s vineyards, Lilla found the wine industry is using more Roundup in vineyards than most agricultural crops. At the center of this controversy is glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Glyphosate is now found in breast milk, baby food, wine and 80% of food grown in the United States.

Lilla interviewed both farmers who depend on Roundup and those paying the ultimate price for spraying it on their crops. He also digs deep into Monsanto’s misleading science and 40 year campaign that Roundup is “safe as salt.” In the end, Children Of The Vine highlights more sustainable farming practices that don’t put public health at risk and are capable of feeding the world.

With many residents still using Roundup on their properties, the information in this explosive documentary should be a game-changer for local residents and moreover, the ag and wine industry.

The screenings will be followed up with a panel of experts and director Brian Lilla, to answer questions and discuss the options of non-toxic farming practices. Proceeds benefit Neighbors to Preserve Rural Sonoma County.

—Padi Selwyn

Co-chair, Neighbors to Preserve Rural Sonoma County.

‘Children of the Vine’ plays at 3 pm and 7 pm, Tuesday, July 12 at Rialto Cinemas, 6868 McKinley St, Sebastopol. More information at rialtocinemas.com.

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