Greens demand City Council stop using toxic weed-killer in Exeter

15 September 2017

Greens demand City Council stop using toxic weed-killer in Exeter

The Green Party will today send an open letter to the leader of Exeter City Council, Pete Edwards, urging him to press the City Council to end the use of a toxic pesticide in Exeter.

The letter, signed by 50 people, expresses deep concern at the use of the chemical glyphosate to kill weeds in parks, on roads, and walkways in Exeter and calls on the council to explore other methods of weed control [1].

It also calls on the Council to back the almost one and a half million European citizens who have signed a petition for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate [2].  The chemical is currently awaiting relicensing in the EU and France is the latest country to announce it will vote against renewing the licence for glyphosate [3].

Glyphosate is a suspected carcinogen [4] and fresh evidence has recently emerged of the link between pesticide exposure and the risk of birth defects [5].

Diana Moore, Exeter Green Party’s representative for St David’s ward, said:

“In 2015 the World Health Organisation classified glyphosate as a toxin that probably causes cancer. It has also been linked to birth defects. It is high time the City Council stopped spraying this poison around our streets and parks – including the areas where children play.

Many councils such as Stroud and Glastonbury Town Councils  and organisations such as South West Water and Yeo Valley have found safer and effective  alternatives - such as heated foam applications to address pernicious weeds.

“Fifty people signed our open letter to Pete Edwards calling for the City Council to end its use of glyphosate, at just one stall on one day. We know there is wide support to end the use of this dangerous toxin. If the Council is in any doubt as to the degree of concern over the use of glyphosate they need only look at the European petition which has so far reached almost 1.5 million signatures.”

Green Party Councillor, Chris Musgrave, said:

“In the interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of present and future generations, it is vital Exeter City Council immediately stop using glyphosate. I will do all I can to persuade the council do so and help them explore suitable and safe alternatives for controlling weeds.”

 Notes

[1] Letter to Cllr Edwards attached

[2] EU petition (citizen’s initiative) for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/eci-glyphosate-int

[3] https://phys.org/news/2017-08-france-vote-eu-renewal-weedkiller.html

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/21/roundup-cancer-who-glyphosate-

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pesticides-birth-abnormalities-linked-pregnancy-study-san-joaquin-valley-california-farms-a7918636.html

 

Contact: Diana Moore 07903 932 214