Mark Whitehead 14 August 2018

Councils face calls to ban 'dangerous' weedkiller

Councils face calls to ban 'dangerous' weedkiller

Councils are facing calls to ban the use of a controversial weedkiller after a landmark legal decision in the US.

A judge in California ruled that the agriculture giant Monsanto should have warned users about the dangers of its Roundup and RangerPro products.

Monsanto was ordered to pay £226m in damages to a man who claimed the weedkiller caused his cancer.

The World Health Organisation has previously said that glyphosate-based weed killers are 'probably carcinogenic', but Monsanto denies the claim and intends to appeal against the American ruling.

Wrexham Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper called for a review of the council's use of the weedkiller.

She said: 'This latest case in the US is the first but it could easily open the floodgates for more and it's only right that the council has a review at this point in time.'

Belfast City Council Green Party councillor Georgina Milne said: 'The World Health Organisation states that weedkiller probably causes cancer yet we spray it across our parks and green spaces.

'It's potentially dangerous for council staff who use the product often and it's devastating for insects, with the bee population hit particularly hard.

"Belfast City Council must apply the precautionary principle and protect workers, park users and wildlife by stopping the use of this product.'

In a statement, the Amenity Forum said: 'In the case of the active glyphosate, it has only recently undergone a thorough review in Europe and been re-approved for use in amenity situations as a safe chemical. This review, conducted by the Expert committee of scientists in Europe and approved by vote of member states, took into account some concerns expressed about the active possibly having carcinogenic effects. Based on all the science and evidence available, it was concluded that these were unfounded and it was safe to use.

'In that context, the Forum is very surprised to hear the outcome of the recent judgement in the USA relating to glyphosate in the product Round Up. We understand that an appeal is to be made by the manufacturer and so it is inappropriate to comment further on this.'

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