27 Jan 2016

Should glyphosate weedkiller be banned in NZ ?

From Nine To Noon, 9:21 am on 27 January 2016

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world, including in New Zealand where it is used in about 90 products. In March 2015 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health organisation (WHO), announced it had determined that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen. But the EU 's food regulator, said the science wasn't strong enough and issued a call for the opinion to be disregarded.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has also reviewed the IARC report and concluded that IARC had carried out a hazard assessment and not a risk assessment. MPI will review its position on glyphosate in 2016 after a new JMPR (Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Meeting) report on the herbicide is released.

Dr Chris Portier is a former director of the National Center for Environmental Health and has also served on the International Agency for Research of Cancer. He is currently embroiled in a bitter row with the EU over the safety of glyphosate weedkiller and is one of nealy 100 scientists arguing for them to change their stance.

Dr Kerry Harrington, is a senior lecturer in weed science at Massey University's Institute of Agriculture and Environment. He says the IARC's classification doesn't mean glyphosate causes cancer, only that in some circumstances, it might cause cancer and it's probably more dangerous driving to public parks in Auckland traffic. He says if it were to be banned it would have a major economic impact on crops and farming.