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EPA must reassess glyphosate and neonics

EPA must reassess glyphosate and neonics

Wednesday 17 October 2018

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Soil & Health Association is calling for an enquiry into the independence of New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), following the EPA’s announcement of priority chemical reassessments for possible bans or new controls.

“While Soil & Health welcomes the reassessment list, there is a glaring omission of two notable harmful chemicals. We want them added to the list, and we want an inquiry into the processes and decision-making that has led to this,” says Soil & Health co-chair Bailey Peryman.

The chemicals that should be on the list for reassessment are:
1. glyphosate, a probable carcinogen and the most commonly used herbicide in New Zealand and worldwide, and
2. neonicotinoid insecticides, which are known to be toxic to bees.
Both are heavily used in New Zealand, meaning most people have some exposure to them.

“The EPA must add them to the list and urgently conduct robust independent reassessments of them.”

“To give the community trust in the regulatory system, Soil & Health calls on the EPA to adopt a precautionary and proactive approach around glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup, instead of its apparent economics-first approach that favours the agrichemical industry over the environment and people’s health.”

“For true environmental protection, the EPA should follow the EU Commission recommendations, which are to minimise glyphosate use in public places such as parks, playgrounds and gardens, and to scrutinise its use as a pre-harvest spray on a number of crops.”

“Christchurch City Council has shown that a transition to glyphosate-free public spaces is possible, and in New Zealand and internationally, organic farmers successfully manage crops without the need for glyphosate herbicides or the bee-killing neonicotinoids, improving environmental, worker, and food safety outcomes.”

“Consumers’ interest in food grown free from synthetic pesticides is rapidly growing both here in Aotearoa and internationally.”

ENDS

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