Monday, 30 May 2016
Colchester Borough Council, Glyphosates and Monsanto
Glyphosates are herbicides and part of a wider family of chemicals called organophosphates, which were developed as a result of nerve gas experiments carried out in the Second World War. The group is very toxic to fish, earthworms and bees. Glyphosates are used as a weed killer and were brought to the market in 1974 by Monsanto under the trade name Roundup . Roundup, the commercial name of Glyphosate based herbicides, contains many other chemicals which, when mixed together are 1,000 times more toxic than Glyphosate on its own.
The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded ‘Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans’. The newly recognised dangers of Glyphosate come against a background of increased use in the UK. Glyphosate is used in public parks and other urban areas to kill weeds, and in the last year for which government figures are available, nearly a third of UK cereals, wheat and barley, were sprayed with Glyphosate – a total of just over one million hectares.
The Soil Association is calling for a UK ban on the use of Glyphosates sprayed on UK wheat as a pre-harvest weedkiller and its use to kill the crop to ripen it faster. New figures analysed by the Soil Association from government data were released at a scientific briefing in London on 15 July 2015. This revealed Glyphosate use in UK farming has increased by 400% in the last 20 years and it’s one of the three pesticides regularly found in routine testing of British bread - appearing in up to 30% of samples tested by the Defra committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF).
Professor Christopher Portier, one of the co-authors of the Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) recent report which determined Glyphosate’s status as World Health a probable carcinogen, reiterated the IARC’s conclusions, and said: “Glyphosate is definitely genotoxic. There is no doubt in my mind.”
In the light of this, I think we all have a right to know whether or not and if so why Colchester Borough Council is using these deadly poisons in our public places.