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Kiwi Gardeners' Familiar Herbicide Pulled From US Shelves

One of the most widely applied herbicides, used by New Zealand home gardeners, is being withdrawn from plant shops and supermarket shelves by its maker in the USA.

Bayer has announced that it is withdrawing all its proprietary glyphosate - based herbicides (GBH), from the US lawn and garden markets by 2023. This is in recognition of the Court costs related to the chronic health damage RoundUp has caused, mostly on farmers and small gardeners. [1]

“This is an astonishingly implicit admission that serious harm to people is caused by Bayer’s herbicides,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

It is however, of concern that the withdrawal of Bayer’s GBH products is only in the US home market.

"New Zealand authorities need to ensure gardeners here are given equal protection, especially as ACC may end up covering health costs that in the US are being paid for through massive law suits," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

The use of GBHs has escalated in the countries that grow GMO crops. AgribioTech companies have developed Genetically Engineered, RoundUp tolerant, soybean, corn, sugar beet and canola crops and the heavy use of GB Herbicides will continue to be promoted for spraying on food crops. These food plants are sprayed many times during their growing season and high RoundUp residues have been found in food.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that Glyphosate was a “probable Carcinogen.” [2] There is undeniable evidence of negative health effects in laboratory animals that eat GE corn and soy. [3]

Many toxic herbicides contain undeclared additives to extend their persistence in the soil. The GBH formulations kill the soil ecosystems, chelate minerals, pollute the waterways and kill aquatic organisms. There is also a common practice of carpet spraying fields before planting and the use of GBH on cereals and potatoes to desiccate them just before harvesting.

The removal of glyphosate in US supermarkets will not make any GBH safer for applicators and consumers. It will only hide the fact industrial agriculture is over using and addicted to RoundUp and GBH products.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) must immediately implement a planned withdrawal of Glyphosate Based Herbicides in light of admission of the evidence of harm caused from the toxic sprays.

New Zealand has around 90 brands of glyphosate-based herbicides on the market and all should be subject to withdrawal.

"It is time to remove of all brands of glyphosate based herbicides from both the commercial and home use markets,” said Ms. Bleakley.

"Farmers should be supported to adopt regenerative organic methods instead.”

References:
[1] https://www.agweb.com/news/crops/crop-production/bayer-pull-glyphosate-us-lawn-and-garden-markets
[2] https://www.iarc.who.int/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/
[3] Portier C (2020) A comprehensive analysis of the animal carcinogenicity data for glyphosate from chronic exposure rodent carcinogenicity studies. Environmental Health 19:18 https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12940-020-00574-1.pdf

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