Following on from the RDC meeting in late March 2015 where the topic of eliminating the spraying of glyphosate in urban Rangitikei’s public places was discussed following a report by Council into cost effective alternatives. If you missed the previous parts, follow the links to Part 1 and Part 2 before continuing here.
The Cost Effective Alternative
Returning to the Council discussion that day, Cr Ash raised the issue regarding cost effective alternatives to spraying Glyphosate. As outlined there, the alternatives were explored in the Council report however some of the detail was incorrect. It was claimed hot water treatment is fifteen times more expensive than chemical spraying. In fact, a company in Auckland, whose contact details I had supplied prior to the completion of the report, was prepared to present information to Council on their system that can operate at the small margin of 10-15% more than chemical spraying. That price, says the company director, is set to drop even further by the end of 2015 to be on a par with that of chemical spraying. This option however was never pursued and by all appearances isn’t going to be. According to the recent Rangitikei Mail article, Mayor Andy Watson, who was not available for comment, “endorsed the council’s position based on the commissioned report”. The RDC will only be establishing a no-spray register where those who wish to opt out can, and they take responsibility themselves for keeping that area weed free. A no-spray register is standard practice in many cities. If you wish to avoid any other exposure to public spraying activity, basically you can’t, and I’ve seen folk spraying in fairly high wind around here. I’ve also observed children walking on the regularly used track that they take to school … within minutes of being sprayed. The label on Roundup packaging warns about spraying on calm days and waiting for the product to dry before touching what is sprayed. My initial presentation had also included a request for warning the public of imminent spraying and/or the placing out of signs saying spraying is in progress. Nobody has been agreeable to this either. Neither the contractors nor RDC.
One of the bonuses we’ve been told about market competition is that prices will be driven down. In this respect I’ve suggested in previous discussions with those concerned here that surely the Council need only seek quotes for chemical free treatment from several competing contractors then secure the most favourable price. During my own research a contractor in one city who applies a salt solution to hardstand areas, said they were simply told to submit a quote for chemical free treatment. For some reason that remains unclear to me, the RDC prefers to lean favourably towards helping the current contractor, Fulton Hogan, to continue the status quo, and are not willing to introduce any competition. Surely this would benefit the rate payers. It is possible a local contractor may go even lower than the current one. The Auckland company is willing to look at working with and training a suitable contractor to establish its system of hot water and foam here in Marton.
The important matter for me in all this, is health. There is a very long list of health issues with glyphosate and research clearly states it is a ‘probable carcinogen’. Class 2A. I’m left wondering, are people really interested in figuring out what causes cancer?
Bear in mind also, this product is sprayed all over pastures so it has to be in much of our food. It has been found in blood, urine and even breast milk. As I pointed out in my presentation, the cancer stats are now ONE in THREE. So one third of your friends / acquaintances / family will statistically be affected by this terrible
plague, and plague it is. I personally can name three brushes with it in my close family. In one branch of my extended family, three deaths from it. In another, two. Among friends, two deaths. These stats are very high. Common sense should be telling us to err on the side of caution and when an organization like WHO is sounding warnings, why are we not listening? Or should I say, why are they not listening?
So, in summary, should you be interested in curbing the spraying of chemicals in your vicinity, be prepared for possible unpleasantness and vilification. Not for the faint hearted. I have received similar from the contractors themselves, one, when I asked him not to spray near my flat, walked right by me spraying within inches of my feet. The company has now agreed to a compromise and they are weed whacking again. I am spraying a non toxic spray under the trees, at their request and at my own expense.
For further information on glyphosate visit the glyphosate page on this site. You will find direct links to the extensive research near the bottom of the page. (You can view the actual research reports by the researchers themselves). There is also the very defining video by Professor Seralini illustrating his research conducted for two years on lab rats, after which France’s highest Court ruled Monsanto had deceived the public about the safety of their product.
~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~