100 signatures reached
To: Stuart Crosby, Mayor of Tauranga
Ban Glyphosphate use in our public spaces in Tauranga
Find an effective alternative in terms of weed management to the current chemical glyphosphate which is used at large around the Bay of Plenty public areas.We are calling on Tauranga City Council to rapidly phase out the use of the toxic herbicide glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup) and to urgently adapt safer weed control methods. Glyphosate has been known to interfere with hormones, is nephrotoxic (toxic to the kidneys), destroys beneficial gut microorganisms, may cause antibiotic resistant and has recently been re-classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Class 2A probable human carcinogen.
The Tauranga City Council and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) employ contractors to spray Tauranga's road edges, parks, and rural road marker posts and edges with the herbicide glyphosate and its additives. These are generally done beyond excess far too often. We need to rethink current weed control practices in our Bay of Plenty from this unnecessary toxin.
Why is this important?
In March 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC (part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) ruled that glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup and other proprietary names) was a probable human carcinogen based on evidence that linked the chemical to non- Hodgkin's lymphoma and extensive DNA and chromosome damage in humans; as well as tumours of the kidney, pancreas, skin and blood vessels and DNA and chromosome damage in animals.
Other scientific research has shown:
• Glyphosate is an antibiotic causing some bacteria to become immune to antibiotics (Prof. Jack Heinemann et al., Canterbury University 2015.) http://www.comsdev.canterbury.ac.nz/rss/news/?articleId=1659
• Glyphosate affects the environment by breaking down more slowly than previously thought.
• Glyphosate disrupts learning behaviours in bees. The concentrations of glyphosate used in farming can reduce sensitivity to nectar reward and impair associative learning in bees.
• Glyphosate in the formulation known as Roundup is more toxic than glyphosate on its own because of the added surfactants.
• Glyphosate poses a genetic hazard to fish and contributes to long lasting damage.
• There is no safe level because neither glyphosate nor glyphosate-based herbicides have been assessed at sub-lethal concentrations.
Since significant research findings have shown that glyphosate and its surfactants pose a material, health and environmental hazard, the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has not undertaken a review of its earlier opinion that approved these substances in 2005 and 2009.
Tauranga City council says it has undertaken one trial of an alternative, the results are still pending. This decision has not yet made any move to phase out glyphosate. The council needs to put a higher weighting on people's and the environment's well-being, and not confine itself to a limited analysis based only on the immediate operating costs. The danger that glyphosate poses to our health and environment translates to a major economic cost to our society.
Alternative weed management methods are available, such as plant oil-fatty-acid based herbicides, hot water (better and cheaper than steam), mowing, hand weeding (providing employment), steam guns (for the gardener), weed trimmers, mulching and allowing some areas to go wild, where there are ecological benefits. See this file for a discussion of alternatives:
North Shore and city areas of Auckland have been using non-chemical alternatives for 20 years successfully. Christchurch City Council is the first city in New Zealand to agree to phase the use of glyphosate.
For references relating to the above information please check out this link:
Glyphosate: No Safe Level 2015 by Jodie Bruning B.Bus.Agribusiness (Monash)
How it will be delivered
In person to the Tauranga City Council.