Council motion: Use of glyphosate pesticides

Across the country, a number of councils have stopped using glyphosate pesticides whilst others are in the process of reviewing their usage. Below is an example council motion, from Trafford Council, showing how we can raise this issue.

This council notes:

There has been a 60% increase in the use of pesticides such as glyphosate in the UK since 1990 [1]. Italy, Portugal and the Canadian city of Vancouver have all banned use of glyphosate [or glyphosate-based weed killers] and France is working towards this. Mosanto and German owner Bayer face 9,000 lawsuits in the US from those that believe their illnesses are caused by their products, the first plaintiff won unanimously with many more to follow [2]. That recent studies published in ScienceDirect show a 41% increased risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma caused by exposure from glyphosate-based weed killers and products [3].

This council believes:

  • There is compelling evidence these glyphosates and a wide range of other herbicides and pesticides may be harmful to human health
  • The use of pesticides and weed killers reduces biodiversity, impacting negatively on insects, birds and bees, in a time when the world is losing 2.5% of its insect population per-year [4].
  • Harmful weed killer residues can creep into the food chain.
  • Pets and children should not be playing in parks treated with such chemicals.

This council resolves to:

  • Phase-out the use of all pesticides and weed killers on council land.
  • Cut out all use of glyphosate-based treatments in all council operations one year.
  • Trial pesticide-free alternatives during this period. Particularly those adopted by the likes of Hammersmith and Fulham and Lewes Councils who use biodegradable foam or hot steam treatments on weeds. To be decided by Executive.
  • Grant an exception to the above ban regarding the control of Japanese knotweed, or other invasive species, where there are currently no effective mechanical techniques available. However, in this case chemicals such as glyphosate will only be stem-injected, rather than sprayed, to reduce its spread in the environment.
  • Grant an exception on sprays only in relation to Giant Hogweed where it’s not safe to be dug out or safely removed by other means.
  • Write to the prime minister to inform the Government of this Council’s opposition to glyphosate-based pesticides and to call for a UK-wide programme to phase out their use.

Don says

There is evidence that the issue of glyphosate in the food chain is caused by farmers spraying cereal crops prior to harvesting in order to desiccate the plant.

Gareth Lloyd-Johnson says

I should clarify that we provide these as an example, ALDC aren't taking a particular stance on the issues in the motions. We just provide examples of what other groups are doing.

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