Round Up may be dangerous but councillor says it works

IT'S the chemical pesticide widely used in the Northern Rivers that the World Health Organisation has labelled "probably carcinogenic".  

But debate about the danger of glyphosate, commonly sold as Round Up, is likely to continue as numerous stores in Europe remove the product from their shelves.  

The Northern Star reported today that a Suffolk Park resident has urged people to be cautious with chemical pesticides after her husband died of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  

RELATED: Widow's warning: my husband died after pesticide spraying

Mrs Virginia Black said her husband, James, died in 2012, two years after being covered with chemical spray that they believed to be a mixture of glyphosate and metsulphuron methyl.  

However, Byron Shire Council said Mr Black was only sprayed with metsulphuron methyl, "which is not scheduled on the Poisons Schedule" and that a report from the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) Pesticide Licensing officer confirmed this.   

Byron Shire councillor Sol Ibrahim told The Northern Star that the council did try to use steam weeding in areas such as children's playing fields or sports fields but that on rural roadsides chemical spray was the only way to control weeds.   

Meanwhile a Wilsons Creek resident and organic farmer, Eckhard Werner, is understood to have lodged a complaint with the council about use of glyphosate along the sides and embankments of Wilsons Creek Road.  

He told the council many residents pull their water from the creek and that the pesticide is contaminating the creek. 

The council has said that the contractor who carried out the work was using "frog friendly" glyphosate and spraying in a manner approved by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority.  

Last year the Dutch government prohibited the sale of glyphosate to individual persons.  

Now top supermarkets in Switzerland have moved to remove glyphosate-containing herbicides from their shelves.  

Coop supermarkets and Coop Building & Hobby hardware stores have stopped selling the product.   

The push for a permanent ban in the Swiss nation is being made by via a petition.  

In September this year, 350 DIY stores of the REWE Group will follow suit in Germany.  

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