Does the City of Castlegar use Roundup? Almost a year ago, a motion was brought forward to council to stop using pesticides – the motion was not seconded by any of the other councillors, so the issue wasn’t even discussed to hear why the council was happy with the current use of pesticides (see page 8 of this pdf for a record of these minutes – not much to see).
I don’t know what varieties of pesticides are used in Castlegar by pubilc works and recreation staff, but Roundup is a likely contender. If so, this recent study is extremely troubling and the use of any pesticides on public spaces should cease immediately. This isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory, this is Scientific American reporting a study from France’s University of Caen.
In the French study, researchers tested four different Roundup formulations, all containing POEA and glyphosate at concentrations below the recommended lawn and agricultural dose. They also tested POEA and glyphosate separately to determine which caused more damage to embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.
Glyphosate, POEA and all four Roundup formulations damaged all three cell types. Umbilical cord cells were especially sensitive to POEA. Glyphosate became more harmful when combined with POEA, and POEA alone was more deadly to cells than glyphosate. The research appears in the January issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
This Spring I’ve heard a few complaints about the use of pesticides on public spaces in Castlegar. The practice needs to stop, particularly if Roundup is being used. It just needs to be a policy of council that City staff will not use chemical pesticides. These areas are play spaces for children, not just expanses of lawn or “open space”, they are not suitable for the use of chemicals that may cause damage to humans. Of course, Monsanto is claiming that the tests were unrealistic – but if you read the article, it seems as thought the researchers did their homework on that front.
Send letters to the City referencing this scientific study, asking them to stop using chemical pesticides once and for all.