Roundup ban push

Eastern Reporter - - News - Sarah Brookes and Kristie Lim

Bassendean res­i­dent and Al­liance for a Clean En­vi­ron­ment co­or­di­na­tor Jane Brem­mer calls on coun­cils to ban the use of Roundup, in light of a US law­suit.

COUN­CILS should ban the use of Roundup or risk be­ing sued by em­ploy­ees and res­i­dents if their health is af­fected, say ac­tion groups.

The call comes in the wake of a land­mark law­suit in the US in which a jury found chem­i­cal gi­ant Mon­santo li­able for caus­ing a school grounds­man’s cancer from his ex­po­sure to the weed­killer.

The ac­tive chem­i­cal in Roundup – glyphosate – is clas­si­fied as prob­a­bly car­cino­genic by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion but is still ap­proved for use in Aus­tralia.

Al­liance for a Clean En­vi­ron­ment con­vener Jane Brem­mer said coun­cils should im­me­di­ately sus­pend the use of glyphosate in pub­lic places, par­tic­u­larly chil­dren’s play­grounds.

“Lo­cal govern­ment au­thor­i­ties are now com­pelled by this le­gal prece­dent to pro­tect their con­stituents and worker’s health and their own le­gal li­a­bil­ity by sus­pend­ing the use of glyphosate in pub­lic places and in­vest in safer, al­ter­na­tive weed con­trol prac­tices,” she said.

“It is sim­ply ab­surd to sug­gest that al­low­ing chil­dren to play on freshly sprayed grass within min­utes of a pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tion is safe.

“It’s a tragic case of the em­peror’s new clothes, with po­ten­tially deadly con­se­quences.”

City of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Fo­ley ac­knowl­edged sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries had banned the use of glyphosate.

Bassendean Mayor Re­nee McLen­nan said the Town con­tin­ued to take a pre­cau­tion­ary ap­proach with its use of glyphosate.

“Steam weed­ing is now used on hard sur­faces in the Town in­stead of glyphosate in or­der to avoid the po­ten­tially harm­ful ef­fects of her­bi­cide run off con­tam­i­nat­ing our wa­ter­ways,” she said.

“Glyphosate is not used on the Town’s play­grounds, on our sport­ing fields or grassed ar­eas.

“In re­cent years tri­als have been con­ducted in bush ar­eas us­ing pelargonic acid, pine oil and steam treat­ments in an ef­fort to find al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions that are ef­fec­tive in weed con­trol and not cost­pro­hibitive.”

Di­rec­tor of Aus­tralian anti-GM group Gene Ethics Bob Phelps called for an ur­gent re­view of Roundup in light of the new ev­i­dence dis­cov­ered dur­ing the US trial.

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