Weedkiller still in use

IN the wake of recent international compensation cases against chemical manufacturer Monsanto, including a record multi-billion payout in America, some Sydney councils are opting to phase out the use of glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup.

Asked if there were any plans to stop using the weedkiller in Cumberland in light of the recent US legal decisions, a council spokesperson told the Review that it is monitoring the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and Worksafe NSW for any change in policy or procedure.
The spokesperson said that the council was guided by APVMA, the national regulator of agricultural chemicals, on its use of glyphosate.
“The council uses an integrated approach to pest management, one component of this is herbicide application, a number of herbicides are used, the council will continue to trial products and monitor their performance,” she said.
In May, the APVMA noted that it was aware of recent international decisions concerning glyphosate adding a reminder to users of the “important of following all label instructions”.
Registered for use in Australia for over 40 years with more than 500 products containing glyphosate registered for use in Australia, the APVMA also reiterated that an assessment in 2016 concluded that “glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic risk to humans”.
However last week the neighbouring Blacktown Council agreed to start a trial of alternative products following industrial action by the United Services Union (USU) which saw 500 workers stop work over their concerns in relation to the safety of the product.
Several other councils including Fairfield, Randwick, Georges River and Wollongong councils have also stopped using the product and begun trialling safer alternatives.