The use of the weed killer glysophate (common brand name, Round Up) is going to become a major battle. Yes it works, and yes it is a serious poison. But does it cause cancer?
The debate is only beginning, despite Mayor Paul Hogan refusing to allow Councillor Epov to raise it as an issue under Urgent Business at the Council Meeting February 17, in what Clr Epov describes “as a kangaroo court where due process was thrown out the window.”
Maybe the Mayor is not aware this subject is being hotly discussed in mainstream media everywhere, that the World Health Organisation last year declared glyphosate a possible carcinogen, and have upgraded it to probable. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is also known as “farmers’ lymphoma”.
Our gardening guru, Lyn Bagnell says, “Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide or weed killer. It is also used in ‘Round-up Ready’ GM crops. Because these crops are resistant to the herbicide, glyphosate remains in all cells of the GM plants and cannot be washed off. Before GM crops were introduced, consumers’ exposure to glyphosate was minimal.
Farmers also use “desiccation” before harvest which involves spraying crops with glyphosate to kill off plants and produce uniformity of maturity to make harvesting quicker, and carrots are sprayed with glyphosate to kill off the tops and make mechanical harvesting easier.
Several studies have now found glyphosate present in human urine, including urine of residents in urban areas without contact to agriculture.
Glyphosate has already been banned in some countries because of public risk.
It is currently being reviewed by our Health Department and the APVMA.”
Organic weed killers maybe are not as effective, but steam can be used in public areas where root damage (caused by the steam) is not such an issue. Some alternative weed sprays can be very expensive.
There are others who ask, Who remembers Agent Orange? And the facts and effects from tobacco amongst other products benefiting large corporations that was kept hidden for far too long.
Is it better to be safe than sorry?
Council employees using spraying equipment with glyphosate say they are provided good protective clothing, though full face masks are impractical, and are medically tested regularly.
However, already the public, better informed than some, are concerned. So much so that council workers whether on weed patrols or not, are being shouted and spat on by some members of the public.
A rational informed debate accessing the latest information would be helpful.