A Marton resident says she is disappointed with the council’s decision to continue using a chemical-based herbicide for weed control.
Pam Vernon claims the council has side-stepped health concerns about the main active ingredient of Roundup – glyphosate – and instead focused on cost.
The Rangitikei District Council voted on March 26 to maintain existing methods of weed control and to formally establish no-spray lists. Residents choosing to be on the no-spray list would be responsible for the upkeep of the land. The council contracts the spraying of urban areas to Fulton Hogan.
The council requested a report on alternative methods to chemical spraying for weeds after Vernon raised her concerns around the safety of current methods in a presentation at the end of last year.
Non-chemical sprays, pastes, gas burning and hot water treatment were investigated in the report as alternative options for the treatment of weeds. The council report indicated that cost was a prohibitive factor to many alternative methods.
At the meeting Cr Cath Ash questioned the report’s indication that hot water treatments were 15 times more expensive than herbicide and suggested the council contact some providers for quotes. Ash said the council had an obligation to consider alternative methods to chemical spraying in light of research by the University of Canterbury into the risks of glyphosate and the World Health Organisation suggesting glyphosate was a potential carcinogen.
Vernon said she also had issue with the report’s conclusion on the cost of hot water treatment. She said she had contacted a provider and was told that while at the moment it would be about 10 to 15 per cent more expensive by the end of this year it would be cost comparable.
Vernon said she decided to make a presentation to the council last year after ongoing issues with spraying around her property. She said it was good to finally have a formal no-spray register, however she did not think it went far enough.
“I believe the council are not really interested in finding another option.”
Mayor Andy Watson was not available for comment but in a statement endorsed the council’s decision based on the commissioned report.
The persistent resource consent compliance failure of the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant has come under scrutiny.
Representatives from Rangitikei District Council fronted the Horizons Regional Council environment committee yesterday to explain the plant management and decisions made.
The plant’s discharge into the Tutaenui Stream has been failing compliance for at least a decade and is in breach of environmental and reporting conditions.
An independent report last year highlighted leachate, which the plant accepts from Bonny Glen landfill, as the main factor behind significant compliance failure. Without the leachate, the plant would likely meet compliance. RDC has accepted the leachate for a number of years under an informal “handshake” deal in return for payment from landfill operators Midwest Disposals Ltd.
Council representatives acknowledged problems with the MWTP and said they were committed to meeting compliance.
But it is going to cost.
“We regard it as serious and we’re taking our time to get the decisions correct,” Rangitikei Mayor Andy Watson said.
Rangitikei’s infrastructure manager Hamish Waugh said council had improved its data reporting in the past 12 months.
Who will pay? Probably not the main polluter in this dance anyway. “…we’re taking our time to get the decisions correct” (emphasis added) …. well that is the truth. And in 2011 ignored attempts by the public via its own community committee to get this whole fiasco out in the open and dealt with.
This article shows what lengths this company will go to to push its poison on people. Not only do they lie, they pull out all stops to stamp out any opposition. The heat has turned up for them with WHO’s latest announcement that Glyphosate probably causes cancer. And still our environmental protection agencies continue to allow people to slather it everywhere… schools, Councils, farmers, contractors.
“Dare to publish a scientific study against Big Biotech, and Monsanto will defame and discredit you. For the first time, a Monsanto employeeadmits thatthere is an entire department within the corporation with the simple task of ‘discrediting’ and ‘debunking’ scientists who speak out against GMOs…”
“aims to communicate the preventable scale of food wasted in the UK, through policy research, community and arts led public events.”
They have compiled some fascinating facts and figures. Did you know for instance, that:
1. “It’s estimated that 30 – 50% of food is waste globally. 1
2. 18 – 20 million tones of food is wasted annually in the UK. 2
3. Assuming that in the UK and US 25% of food is wasted, 10% of GHG emissions from these countries come from food that is discarded. 3 ”
(Note: follow links to article for references cited).
I’ve noticed many food outlets will donate their unsold food at the end of the day to charities who quickly pass them on to those folks they know are in need. I recall during the ’90s collecting weekly a car boot load of bread from a local supermarket for that purpose. Another area I lived in (NZ’s beautiful Bay of Plenty) local growers left two large bins of ‘seconds’ from their Kiwifruit harvests free for the taking, which ended up in homes or as stock feed. Brilliant. Then there are the folks I’ve seen recently on FB who have swap stands or free stands near their gardens to dispose of surplus and feed people who are struggling financially … equally as brilliant. If you have a fruit tree that produces more than you can use, consider placing boxes of it at your front gate for passers by to take. Sharing is caring. Your generosity will return to you. I assure you.
Then closer to home, was my dear Dad who grew an enormous vegetable garden and gave most of it away … serving two purposes … he loved gardening and growing things … and also enjoyed the buzz he got from helping others. Not only did he give the produce away, he also made pickles, relishes, jams and preserves, much of which he also gave away. Having lived through a Depression and a World War he knew the art of survival and making the most what he had. Like many in his era, his shed was chock full of odds and ends to fix stuff with … that was the era that preceded our current ‘throw away’ society. Perhaps this is where the ‘throw-away-the-food’ mentality comes from? Seriously, the fix-it thing is what could drastically cut back the rubbish and recycling problem that is growing into magnanimous proportions … a topic for another post.
I confess I’m guilty of waste at times although I’ve cut that back and am more mindful of using leftovers creatively instead of biffing them. Did you know for instance, you can make apple cider vinegar or apple jelly from apple peels and cores? ? Or that you can make pickle or relish from water melon rinds?
I have a friend who said as a child they had a cook up of all the left overs one night a week. (Only what was edible of course). I guess this may (or may not?) go down well with the creative chefs however … in the bigger picture we who eat well on the planet are actually the minority. This alone causes me to be very thankful for the food I do have, and more mindful of the need to not waste it. And last but not least, to use what I save in all of this, to feed a hungry child elsewhere on the planet. We may one day need the same generosity ourselves. Our current political regime here in NZ is forgetting that fact. Something to think about.
Following on from the recent update on the chemical spraying presentation made to the Rangitikei District Council forum in November 2014, and featured in the Central District Times recently, I’ve offered some thoughts on the Council process. This may be informative for some, and may also dispel some illusions about our so-called democratic processes.
When anyone presents an issue of concern at a Council forum the time limit is five minutes which includes question time, so it is really only four. Bear in mind with an issue this large this is not long. I had to condense my case to the quintessential and speak at top speed. Also bear in mind that in attending Council meetings there is little if any space for actual dialogue around issues. Five minutes is it. The process is not that people friendly (one Cr didn’t hide the fact he found the issue humorous) nor conducive to meaningful interaction or problem resolution. The Mayor, Andy Watson, allowed two questions from the Councilors … one centered around other possible alternatives. These I provided as I’d researched them. The other was not a question, rather it was to tell me that Horizons could provide the correct information about spraying parameters / guidelines / exposure etc. That completed I was duly thanked for my presentation and I sat down. I quietly whispered to a member of the Community Committee who was also there that day, asking her what happens next (quietly because you’re not supposed to be talking in there … and the Community Committee by the way, is a conduit group between community and Council). It appears that I should have asked specifically for somebody to get back to me on the issue. Since I hadn’t, that could well have been the very last I’d have heard about the issue. Now who ever would know that ‘minor’ technicality about being heard? It could have effectively disappeared into the black hole, forgotten forever. As good fortune would have it however, after I’d left and the meeting continued, Cr Sheridan voted for the matter to be put on the Agenda. It was seconded by Cr Ash. The Council was going to research other NZ Council methods of weed treatment and write a report.
Now, bear in mind here, seven or so months prior, I’d emailed Council citing the research on the health risks of using glyphosate sprays (the herbicide of choice by most councils throughout the country). This research had been dismissed as ‘unproven extrapolation’. Cr Ash, and myself, had then met with the Mayor to discuss the research and the possibility of using non chemical sprays in the urban areas. He had sent us each away to research weed control methods used by other Councils with the prospect of RDC’s possibly considering a non-chemical alternative that was cost-effective … should we find one that is. In addition, information was given regarding how to get this issue onto the agenda using Council protocols. By all appearances, to the uninitiated, a very convoluted process. Because of these prior happenings, I already had a great deal of information on other councils, so later, I emailed contact details for an Auckland contractor with a cost effective hot water treatment.
During the interim I endeavoured to email updates to the Mayor and all Councilors about the surrounding facts on this issue since four minutes had clearly not enabled me to do this. In addition I kept them up to speed with all the latest research that comes in at quite a steady pace these days. Councilors apparently, have a great deal of information to wade through I’m told, so there are seldom any responses. Not even an ’email received’ message.
Mayor, the CEO nor the Councilors (bar two) are impressed by WHO’s research, or any of the large body of research that is available on Glyphosate. Not surprising since our Government approves it, end of story. Note here, many governments have actually banned it though and France’s highest Court ruled that Monsanto (the manufacturer) has lied about Roundup’s biodegradability. Sadly, with the way Council works, there has been no opportunity for dialogue on this issue. Still, I do not believe it is rocket science. I would be placing my money on WHO, Professor Seralini’s evidence and France’s highest Court, as opposed to the wisdom of the Rangitikei District Council in Marton or the NZ government (aka corporation) that says it is GE free by the way and is not. Remember, Monsanto initially tested their lab rats for the required ninety days … not long enough for tumours to develop. Professor Seralini’s team tested them for two years… long enough to grow enormous tumours.
Why is Monsanto not now re-testing for two years themselves to prove to the public their product is safe? And why was it so difficult for Prof Seralini to even get a sample of their Glyphosate-laced GM corn to use in his research?
(Watch the Seralini video HERE or read the damning transcript). Would you buy a used car on the car salesman’s word alone? This is historically what the authorities have done with Roundup. It’s all been on Monsanto’s say so. Read more about the RDC’s decision in my next post.
April 10 2015 …. Caroline Brown from Palmerston North’s Manawatu Standard reports on the ongoing leachate issue and the Rangitikei District Council (RDC).
“The discharge of non-compliant wastewater into the Tutaenui Stream from the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant is to continue, despite two reports revealing a raft of issues at the site…”
The Council Assets meeting reveals more of the usual ‘pay it forward’ rhetoric that’s been going on for nine years already … aka save money now and forward the expense to a future generation. Cr Dean McManaway says …
“…the council could not just wake up one day and say “no more”. It was a business in the Rangitikei employing people, whether the council liked it or not…”
As usual, businesses ahead of the health of the waterways and the people that use them. We may as well expunge from the records any suggestion of “Rangitikei … unspoilt”. It simply isn’t true.
This report is from Johanna Congleton, EWG Senior Scientist. EWG if you aren’t aware, is the Environmental Working Group in the US. I’ve featured this essential group on the Food page here and consider it a vital tool in our toolbox for discerning what’s in the products we’re buying and consuming or using on our bodies and in our environments. I’ve referred previously to their info on endocrine disruptors in tortilla chips. But this article expands on their properties and the potential for harm they carry and provides details regarding the products they feature in:
“Proper endocrine signaling is particularly important during critical windows of development—while in the womb and during childhood and adolescence. Chemicals that disrupt hormone signaling can lead to adverse effects on development, reproduction, and the neurological and immune systems”.
I note several Weight Watcher products contain them for instance. Their Carrot Crème Cake, Chocolate Crème Cake, Golden Sponge Cake, Lemon Creme Cake and their Red Velvet Creme Cake. Sara Lee is another product that features there amongst many others, but pertinent to NZ these two I have noticed on our shelves. EWG features a dirty dozen guide to food additives, a handy reference tool for you to search all those little unpronounceable or indiscernible additives most of us just pass over. Be aware peoples, one cake or one biscuit may not harm us in the short term, but habitually consuming these products is setting up, in my opinion, a time bomb in your body. Somewhere down the track you may well be paying with your health. The groups charged with protecting our health (in this case the FDA … they have their equivalent in all of our countries) have listed the use of propyl paraben in food as
“Generally Recognized As Safe… Despite mounting evidence that propyl paraben disrupts the endocrine system, the FDA has failed to take action to eliminate its use in food or reassess its safety” says the EWG.
Read the full article HERE ….. and caution your loved ones.
From Natural Society, an expose on how processed foods operate in our bodies. A good reminder to grow or buy organic and preferably prepare our own meals from fresh. Increasingly our foods from supermarkets are empty of nutrition. Like an automobile, our bodies need fuel to operate … nutritious fuel.
This article is from the local newspaper, the Rangitikei Mail, courtesy of neighbourly.co.nz
Community gardens are indeed catching on. If you missed it a couple of days ago I featured the Todmorden (UK) ‘experiment’ that revolutionized the town. (Pam Warhurst, How we Can Eat our Landscapes). It’s so inspiring and so worth the watch … & at the Garden page there are articles on the topic if you haven’t time to watch the TED video there (13 mins approx).
Anyway, back to this post which is an article on community gardens in NZ and how they are catching on for people wanting to grow their own food but lacking the space to do it.
This comes from the Take Back Your Power website, a must read if you are interested in protecting your health:
“The UK’s leading business network of company directors has issued a damning report and warning against the UK’s planned “smart” meter rollout…
IoD calls for Smart Meters scheme to be ‘halted, altered or scrapped’ to avoid ‘unjustified, over-engineered and expensive mistake’
The Government’s rollout of Smart Meters, digital energy meters designed to provide real-time usage statistics, should be “halted, altered or scrapped” to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster, the Institute of Directors warns today…”
I’ve been invited to speak to the Hunterville Senior Citizens group (my home town) and present information on smart meters. I’m always glad of the opportunity to supply folks with some of the pertinent facts and to encourage them to research for themselves and make their own informed decisions. So much we are told is motivated by profit nowadays we need to be wise and educate ourselves. I will upload my notes at the weekend as they’re a handy condensed version of the basics to be aware of. In the meantime you can view information on smart meters here at the Smart Meters page. You’ll find links there to the excellent NZ site that provides the latest info relevant to Kiwis … http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz