Roundup’s use in Tauranga parks may be revisited in light of new information that shows it is a neurotoxin with persistent effects in the environment.
The Tauranga City Council’s strategy and policy committee is recommending the Toxic Agrichemicals Advisory Forum work with council staff on proposals for action on the issue.
There is alarm at the health risk of Roundup use.
TAAF is Catherine de Monchy, Anne Parkinson, Ron Lopert, Bill Myhill, Ian McLean, and John Allen, who assist the committee with advice on issues surrounding agrichemical use.
Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is now used in a number of competing weedkiller brands that each have their own, often secret recipe of ingredients that can include additives that are even more toxic than the glyphosate itself.
TAAF is going to be working with council staff to try and indentify some of the ingredients in the generic glyphosate recipes to help ensure the sprays used on Tauranga’s parks are not going to poison people, including the contractors who apply it.
Following Catherine de Monchy’s delivery of the TAAF report, committee members decided it was better at this stage for TAAF and council staff to work together to develop a plan of action.
They are going to ask manufacturers if they will identify ingredients, but they can’t be compelled to identify ‘inert’ ingredients.
Tauranga City Council is a small buyer and doesn’t have the market weight to influence manufacturers.
“We are struggling for perfect answers, we are open to suggestions,” says Catherine.
The other issue is the false perception in the community that Roundup is safe to use because it rapidly breaks down in the environment.
Research has found it can linger for up to three years, says Catherine.
There is independent research showing it causes birth defects at low dosages in experimental animals, and in humans, high levels of premature births and miscarriages in farming families that use pesticides including glyphosate.
Glyphoste and Roundup damage human placental and embryonic cells in concentrations well below those recommended for agricultural use.