Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue is to bring a motion before the monthly meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council calling on the council to cease from using the weed killer ‘Glyphosate.’
The motion will further request that all sub contractors employed by council also cease the use of Glyfos and all products containing Glyphosate in the council district, in favour of a more environmentally friendly product.
Colr. Logue is tabling the motion forward following concerns being raised by the Pink Ladies Cancer support group in Derry
She said “Glyphosate is the subject of much controversy across the world since a report by the International Agency for Research against Cancer (IARC) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate was probably carcinogenic to humans. That report was followed by a controversial and hugely criticised report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which concluded that Glyphosate was “unlikely” to cause cancer.
“The European Parliament rejected this conclusion and demanded a review by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and requested EFSA release all scientific sources that led to its conclusion. Indeed, my colleague Lynn Boylan MEP has consistently called for more transparency in the process of the approving of chemicals.
“The controversy is ongoing worldwide with a ECHA report published in March 2017 concluding that the available scientific evidence ‘did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen’. That ECHA study has also been criticised as it uses unpublished scientific evidence provided by industry.”
Colr. Logue said that in the circumstances, the precautionary principle must apply. “It seems wrong that anyone would permit the use of Glyphosate in any public area but particularly near playgrounds where every visiting child’s health would be put at risk,” she said.
Jacquie Loughrey, The Education and Prevention Officer at The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group, who was instrumental in bringing this concern to Colr. Logue said: “After researching the impact of chemicals on human health, the issue of pesticide use and the negative public health impacts of using pesticides on some groups within our population made me investigate the use in the council area. As we are focused on prevention, in particular cancer prevention and considering children are most at risk from pesticide use, we thought it prudent to bring this to councils attention.
“We are delighted to be supported by Patricia with this motion.”
The motion to be tabled by Colr. Logue states: “As a council we pledge to discontinue the use of glyphosate in all operations with the only exception being when dealing with Japanese Knotweed, which will be injected rather than sprayed.”
The motion also urges council to “pledge to encourage other Statutory Agencies to do likewise.”