Roundup ban push
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.