Are councils in bed with Agrichemical companies? They cite grossly inaccurate figures in their defense

Are councils in bed with Agrichemical companies? Both the Auckland & Rangitikei District Council are favouring chemical weed control over non-chemical, in spite of the heightened health risks highlighted recently by WHO. They cite outdated & incorrect data to support this preference. 

Some Aucklanders are currently objecting to a flip flop on their Council’s current weed management policies. A petition has been circulating (and is on FB also  if you would like to sign it) calling (like the Rangitikei) for a ban on the use of glyphosate on Auckland’s streets and parks. Some parts of Auckland are chemical free in terms of weed management however not all, and council is doing a u turn on their current policy of minimal chemical use, indicating in their Ten Year Plan a preference for chemical control.

Copy of Copy of Dec 2014 041
Public areas are sprayed without any warning before, during or after the fact

Auckland’s Weed Management Advisory (a Community-led organization that helped create the Council’s Weed Management Policy 2013 of minimum agrichemical use, which the Council seems intent on doing away with) are also calling for a BAN on Glyphosate and have put a leaked briefing document up on their website. You can read it here. This is the Long Term Plan featuring quotes for alternative methods of weed management as opposed to management with glyphosate, typically, Roundup. Georgina Blackmore, the petition organizer, states that the figures cited should be taken with a pinch of salt … in fact a very large amount of salt. They are using she says, old, inaccurate and misleading information. “Disingenuous” says Auckland councilor John Watson. The Weed Management Advisory has accused the Auckland Council of putting the public at risk. Read their press statement here.

This line is a very familiar tale. Our own Rangitikei District Council cited inaccurate figures when justifying their rejection of glyphosate-free weed management in our public spaces. We had tried to counter this outcome by citing Auckland contractors who are currently employing mechanical weed control methods. The latter stated emphatically that their costs were a marginal 10-15 percent more than Roundup, and expected soon to even match it. Similarly, with the current Auckland scenario cited here, other Auckland contractors are saying their costs are even less than glyphosate.

When the request for tighter parameters and controls around glyphosate spraying was originally put to the RDC, citing the extensive independent research available on the myriad health risks associated with Roundup use,  an internal report was requested by RDC on alternative cost-effective weed-control methods.  Councilor Lyn Sheridan asked why health effects were not investigated by RDC and the response by CEO Ross McNeill was, ‘…they weren’t asked for’. They are missing the point here.

We need to be asking, why are Councils so bent on, so adamant, about choosing chemical control, and with a chemical that has recently been re-classified by WHO as a Class 2A carcinogen?  Claiming there is insufficient proof of health risks is myopic at best.

Currently, as of 2011, one in three New Zealanders will contract cancer

That statistic is extremely high and surely deserving of closer examination of the research into environmental causes and the elimination of the probable ones?

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Walkways and adjacent herbage where both school children & general public regularly walk is sprayed heavily with Roundup/glyphosate

The thing about Roundup is (and you will hear this in the audio link below) we the public are given no warning in advance of spraying, no signs are put out when they are spraying (so people can walk on it before it’s dry without even knowing) it is sprayed on public walkways where school children walk with no prior warning and it is sometimes sprayed on windy days.

Read Georgina’s piece here on her recent findings and her interview on Radio with Auckland Councilor John Watson and Professor Ian Shaw from Canterbury University.

Link to the audio HERE

Read the Scoop’s press release on Weed Management Advisory’s findings here:

Auckland Council Accused of Putting Public at Risk

Auckland Council Accused of Putting Public at Risk

“A complete ban on the spraying of glyphosate, also known as Roundup, on all public land in Auckland is called for after a New Zealand toxicologist confirms heightened risks of the chemical. Leaked documents show Auckland Council trivialising the serious health risk…..”  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1507/S00578/auckland-council-accused-of-putting-public-at-risk.htm

Auckland Council Budget Committee’s paper on weed management citing false figures for non chemical control:  https://weedmanagementadvisory.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/briefing-note-auckland-council-weed-managment-april-2015.pdf 

Article from Georgina Blackmore (Ban Glyphosate in Auckland NOW at Facebook)

“In an interview I gave on bFM this week about our campaign to ban the use of Glyphosate on Auckland Roads and Parks, Councillor John Watson and expert of Toxicology Professor Ian Shaw both agreed that we need to be seriously looking at what alternatives we have to spraying Glyphosate…” Read at SOURCE:  https://www.facebook.com/BanGlyphosate/posts/417049618496545

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