Macedon Ranges Council urged to drop glyphosate

Macedon Ranges Council has been urged to drop its use of potentially harmful glyphosate-based herbicides.
It is one of many councils that continues to use glyphosate weedkillers such as Roundup to manage parks and roadside weeds despite the chemical coming under fire for its possible link to cancers.
Pushing for change, Kyneton local Lyle Green said multiple lawsuits won against US company Monsanto for claims the chemical was the cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, should raise concern for local councils and individuals.
“Despite the risk, Roundup is still being used in public areas by the council and they should be looking at alternatives. It’s a health and safety concern and people should be made aware,” Mr Green said.
Moyne Shire banned glyphosate last year, while Austria became the first European country to ban the chemical earlier this year. A Melbourne man has launched the first Australian legal action against Monsanto over claims it ignored the alleged carcinogenic impacts of its product.
Macedon Ranges Council’s director of assets and operations Shane Walden said the council had been monitoring the developments in this space since 2015 and had reassessed its use of the herbicide, but was limited by options for large-scale operations.
“Council has reviewed its glyphosate usage but at this point has not identified any viable weed management alternative for a large council context,” he said.
“However, many of council’s footpaths and kerb edges, that were once managed using herbicide, are now being mechanically edged. This has resulted in a reduction in glyphosate use compared to a few decades ago.”
Mr Walden said the council ensured any chemical use was in accordance with the manufacturer’s safety data information and staff were trained and licensed in chemical use and management.
The council takes guidance on the status and safety of chemical products use from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

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