UPDATE — 15/06/19 | Wollongong City Council will now review its use of herbicides amid public concern over the aerial spraying of chemicals across the region.
Sign the petition to stop aerial spraying around the Illawarra region by clicking here.
Preparations are underway for helicopter spraying of the chemical RoundUp around the Port Kembla region in New South Wales.
Locals are up in arms after plans were announced to use helicopters to douse swathes of bush with the chemical, just days after a Melbourne man launched Australia’s first lawsuit blaming the weedkiller for his cancer.
According to local reports, it’s part of annual “weed prevention management” spraying to combat the Bitou bush, following previous actions in Bass Point in recent years.
This includes about 90ha to be sprayed around Perkins Beach, 40ha at Bass Point in Shellharbour, and another 8ha on private land at Gerringong.
The region will receive glyphosate spraying, while it’s been announced that a sister product, Brush-Off, will be used.
In previous years, Bass Point has received RoundUp from the air.
Diana Matic was one resident who saw the notice from IDWA about Port Kembla.
“I actually thought this was a joke,” Ms Matic said.
“You have countries like France and Vietnam which are banning it.
But here, it’s actually going to go on people’s houses. And people have pets, they have babies. There’s people who walk along the beach straight afterwards.
There’s got to be another way.”
IDWA weeds officer David Pomery said some areas were not accessible without aerial spraying:
“Alternate methods are being utilised where appropriate but in the meantime the IDWA must consider utilising aerial spraying in some situations to ensure effective management of this weed across the coastal landscape.”
Numerous petitions have been started by concerned locals since the publishing of this news, and have been signed by thousands of people.
In one petition, signed by more than 2500 people, Wollongong woman Sara Louise said the potential health risks of Roundup were “unacceptable”.
This week, in response to public outrage, Gordon Bradbery — Lord Mayor of Wollongong — has attempted to defuse the anger of locals.
Bradbery said he wasn’t an expert, but had been told the herbicide RoundUp will be sprayed under “strict guidelines”:
“The spraying will be carried out by well-trained personnel, who follow the guidelines, mitigate risk and ensure safety.”
Currently, Illawarra District Weeds Authority are still planned to use aerial spraying to manage the weed across the coastal landscape, with alternate methods utilised where appropriate.
Herbicide ‘drift’ has been identified as a persistent problem with aerial spraying, but IDWA officers have said spraying would only occur when “weather conditions are appropriate”.
THE ROUNDUP SAGA
Monsanto developed glyphosate in 1970 to kill weeds and grasses that harm crops.
The company marketed the chemical as Roundup Weed Killer, and by 2007, it became the most used herbicide in the United States and widely available in Australia. An estimated 1.4 billion pounds of Roundup are used in more than 160 countries each year.
Despite its widespread use, the popular weedkiller has been called into question as a possible health hazard within the past several years.
Thousands of Roundup users have filed lawsuits alleging that they have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, b-cell lymphoma, leukemia, or other forms of cancer after using the product.
Today, Monsanto faces 13,400+ Roundup lawsuits, three major examples of which in the US have come down in favour of plaintiffs with cancer.
This includes one in which the plaintiff received a jury award of $78.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages, and in the latest, a court in California awarded a couple $2.8 billion.
This week Melbourne gardener, Michael Ogliarolo, launched legal action alleging RoundUp caused his cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The prevalence of this chemical is prolific. From tampons to vaccines, it has been discovered everywhere — and it’s making us sick.
Calls have now been made for farm chemical regulator, Australian Pesticides and Vet Medicines Authority (APVMA), to immediately begin a formal safety review of Roundup herbicide and glyphosate, with a focus on NHL and other terminal diseases.
Parts of Port Kembla lined up for RoundUp aerial spraying | Illawarra Mercury
Wollongong Lord Mayor attempts to defuse anger over RoundUp aerial spraying | Illawarra Mercury
People aren’t Glutards. They’re just Glyphucked. | Real News Australia
US jury finds Roundup causes cancer: call for Australian review | Real News Australia
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