Community Scoop

Council is asked to take glyphosate based herbicides off

Press Release – Weed Management Advisory

Glyphosate, Cancer and the NZ EPA – Auckland councillors told they cannot rely on the EPA to protect their peopleGlyphosate, Cancer and the NZ EPA – Auckland councillors told they cannot rely on the EPA to protect their people

Council is asked to go all out to take glyphosate based herbicides off all streets and parks.

In a presentation to Auckland’s Environment and Community Committee this week, the authors of the widely supported scientific report Public Health Concern: Why did the EPA Ignore the World Authority on Cancer? asked the Council to reconsider its current approach of relying on EPA advice on glyphosate to protect public health.

Steffan Browning MP and principal author Jodie Bruning told the committee that EPA’s advice to Council that they should have “no worries – business as usual everybody – glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer” was not supported by the academic and scientific community as revealed in their recently published report.

The report criticizes the EPA’s actions in dismissing the findings of its own authority on cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), whose 17 international experts determined in 2015 that glyphosate and its formulations was a probable human carcinogen (and a known animal carcinogen). Instead they relied on a cancer review carried out by a single NZ toxicologist who concluded that glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer.
“Even the Ministry of Health didn’t agree with the EPA approach” Steffan Browning told the Weed Management Advisory. “Which raises the issue of what authority New Zealand Territorial Local Authorities, including Auckland Council, should rely on to ensure the safety of their communities from known toxins”.

“Clearly the IARC has the expertise, and with the absence of monitoring of levels of human exposure to glyphosate based herbicides in New Zealand, Councils must take the precautionary lead of progressive European countries, California and Christchurch City, and remove herbicides like Roundup from areas open to the public.”

Jodie Bruning agreed and said, simply, it is the duty of Auckland Council to protect public health, and removing public exposure to glyphosate is an essential action to protect public health.

Hana Blackmore of the Weed Management Advisory said they are hugely appreciative of the work of Steffan and Jodie and thanked them for their willingness to take the time to present to Council.

Blackmore also acknowledged Environment Chair Councillor Hulse for allowing Steffan to present ahead of next month’s major agenda item and report-back to committee on the use of glyphosate, which Steffan Browning would not be available to attend.

“Clearly – councillors will have been given a lot to think about ahead of that meeting, and we hope they will now take the time to draw up a precautionary approach to transition away from glyphosate as a matter of urgency.”

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