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Ban Glyphosate in public spaces in Far North Queensland

Locally Compiled Report on Our Current Situation

  Herbicide Use in Kuranda Region

   Spotlight on RoundUp & other glyphosate-based herbicides

Monsanto must pay the couple US$2 billion in the largest verdict yet over cancer claims   California jury holds makers of Roundup weedkiller responsible for couple contracting non-hodkin’s lymphoma

Monsanto ordered to pay US$289 million to man who claims Roundup weed killer caused cancer

Weedkiller products more toxic than
their active ingredient, tests show

The Guardian, 8 May 2018

Calls for inquiry after Four Corners report on Monsanto and glyphosate chemical, Roundup

ABC Local, 8 Oct 2018

Concerned about Roundup?
Some local councils are already
trying alternatives

ABC Local, 15 Aug 2018

Blue Mountains Council to investigate reducing Roundup use

Blue Mountains Gazette, 25 Nov 2018

The Monsanto Papers

For decades Monsanto (now Bayer) & regulators
told us that RoundUp and its principle ingredient
Glyphosate was safe.

safe enough to drink. . .
safer than table salt!

But in 2018, a US jury ruled that RoundUp contributed
to a school gardener’s terminal cancer. He was
awarded US$289.2 million in damages.

Documents from the case reveal a decades-long
campaign of deceit by Monsanto to protect their
lucrative product.

1970s The laboratory testing for Monsanto
implicated in fraud scandal with US
EPA ruling RoundUp test results invalid

1980s New study prompt US EPA scientists to
classify glyphosate as possibly
carcinogenic to humans

1990s NY attorney general rules Monsanto engaging in false advertising about safety

1991 External laboratory tests of RoundUp
found to be falsified – 15 people fined or
imprisoned

2003 Monsanto toxicologist warns, “you cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen… we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation
to make that statement”

2014 The World Health Organization’s
cancer agency IARC announces review of RoundUp & glyphosate.Monsanto’s lead toxicologist warns,“… what we have long been concerned about has happened. glyphosate is on for an IARC review”

2015  The IARC released their report classifying the world’s most sold herbicide, glyphosate, as a probable human carcinogen causing huge worldwide reaction

2017  European Union approved a limited 5-year licence for glyphosate, with France declaring a ban within 3 years

2018  Jury awards school gardener US$289 million in landmark case against Monsanto Currently, more than 9000 people across the US are suing Monsanto, claiming Roundup caused their cancer

Following the 2015 IARC report,
a number of countries, cities & states
have taken steps to restrict or ban glyphosate.
These include Brussels, 400 towns in Argentina, 8
provinces in Canada, Czech Republic, El Salvador,
Netherlands and Portugal.
More details available here

More Safety Concerns

There are many health & safety concerns associated with RoundUp / glyphosate

Effects On Human Health

“Glyphosate, contrary to being essentially non-toxic,
may in fact be the most biologically disruptive
chemical in our environment.”


“Glyphosate could plausibly contribute to inflammatory
bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism,
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, MS, cancer,
infertility, and developmental malformations.”

2015 Adelaide university study has shown Roundup to be more toxic to human reproductive cells than glyphosate alone, as it was shown to be an endocrine disruptor.

Tests for glyphosate routinely find traces in soil, water, food and human urine. A long-term US study indicated a 1200% increase in glyphosate levels in urine over a 20-year period since the mid-1990s

Effects On Environmental Health

“This study demonstrates glyphosate is moderately persistent in the marine water under low light conditions and is highly persistent in the dark. Little degradation would be expected during flood plumes in the
tropics, which could potentially deliver dissolved and sediment-bound glyphosate far from shore.


“(In seawater) glyphosate degraded most rapidly under low light conditions at 25°C with none detected by day
180, and most slowly in the dark at 31°C where 52% remained by day 330.

How is chemical runoff
via Barron River catchments
damaging the Great Barrier Reef?

The European Chemicals Agency has classified
glyphosate as “a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects“

Why Glyphosate is not the Issue with RoundUp

As glyphosate is the declared “active principle” in glyphosate-based herbicides, it’s the only one tested for
regulatory purposes. However, research suggests that the so-called “inert” substances (formulants) in these
herbicides are significantly more toxic.
Glyphosate may very well be a red herring, diverting regulators’ attention away from the true toxic
substances.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the
safest pesticides. This idea is spread by
manufacturers, mostly in the reviews they promote,
which are often cited in toxicological evaluations of
glyphosate-based herbicides. However, Roundup
was found in this experiment to be 125 times more
toxic than glyphosate….

This inconsistency between scientific fact and
industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic
interests, which have been found to falsify health
risk assessments and delay health policy decisions”.

“The compounds of the formulants [declared inert by
manufacturers] and not glyphosate appeared as the
determinants for cellular endocrine disruption, as well as for toxicity to human cells and plants.”

What’s in the formulants?
Glyphosate is never used alone but mixed with chemical formulants, identified as mainly families of petroleum-based oxidized molecules such as
polyoxyethylenamines (POEA). While declared
inert by manufacturers, research demonstrates POEAs
to be herbicides – NOT inert.

Disturbingly, most glyphosate-based and other
herbicides tested were found to be contaminated with
the heavy metals Arsenic, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead and
Nickel at levels higher than permitted levels in water in
the EU & USA. These heavy metals may originate from
contamination during the manufacturing process – or
they may be added intentionally.

Implications for Kuranda

RoundUp / glyphosate is the herbicide of choice for
conventional farmers as well as local, state &
national bodies.

With the 2015 IARC report and the 2018 landmark
ruling against Monsanto – a precedent has been
set:

RoundUp and other glyphosate-based herbicides
can no-longer be considered safe.

The evidence is publicly available and mounting.

Any private or public organisation using
RoundUp risk being sued by employees and
residents if their health is affected.

Kuranda Regional Planning Group,
Friends of the Earth FNQ & concerned residents
demand that Mareeba Shire Council
& other local service providers
transition away from using poisons
towards more sustainable and healthy weed
management systems.

Image: Byron Shire council workers using steam weeders
Source: Gladstone Observer, Dec 2017

Image: Lord Howe Island volunteer hand-weeders
Source: Lord Howe Island Board

Transition away from RoundUp
in Kuranda Region

Use of glyphosate-based herbicides
Kuranda Region Resident Survey

Kuranda Regional Planning Group, Friends of the Earth FNQ and other local residents are concerned about the use of herbicides in our ecologically sensitive environment, particularly the use of popular glyphosate-based herbicides such as RoundUp.

Having considered the information provided, please share your views about the use of toxic herbicides in our region: