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Roundup: the cases are beginning to stack

In May 2019 ABC reported that a Californian jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay $US2 billion ($2.8b) to a couple who say they contracted cancer after using the commonly used weedkiller, Roundup.


"Monsanto's owner, Bayer, said the decision is "excessive and unjustifiable" and it will appeal. It is the biggest payout against the company Monsanto over the commonly used weed-killer Roundup and the third case they have lost."

VIDEO: The secret tactics Monsanto used to protect Roundup, its star product | Four Corners - ABC 9News reports today that:

The fallout from a controversial Californian court decision which found the commonly used herbicide Roundup causes cancer, is now being felt in Australia.

Hundreds of users of Roundup here are preparing legal cases against chemical giant Monsanto, the manufacturer of the weed killer. Their cases add to the already 17,000 cases launched in the United States.

This Sunday on 60 Minutes, reporter Liam Bartlett investigates the claim Roundup is unsafe and life-threatening. "Right now, we're in that moment when the first lawsuits exposed the truth about cigarettes," Brett Wisner, lead attorney Should we be concerned with Council's use of it in our parks and reserves? Eurobodalla Council advised, back in 2016, that: Glyphosate is the active constituent of many branded weed control products including Roundup and Zero. Formulations of glyphosate based products can be found in 360, 450, 480, 500 and 540 gram per litre increments. Most of these products and formulations are easily accessible to the public at any supermarket, rural or hardware store. Council uses Roundup Biactive 360 g/ltr (does not contain a surfactant and thus is ‘frog friendly’) in various situations as a registered control method for various plants including but not limited to, Lantana, Bitou Bush, grasses including African Love Grass, Serrated Tussock and Kikuyu and the noxious aquatic weed, Salvinia molesta. Roundup Biactive 360 is registered for use in and around waterways as it is non mobile in the soil profile as it quickly binds to aluminium and iron particles. It has a half-life of around 47 days and has low toxicity. It is broken down into various natural components including carbon monoxide and dioxide and nitrogen and phosphorous oxides. Glyphosate based products are termed ‘non specific’ with regards to their applicability for weed control; that is, it will likely have detrimental effects to any plants (note it does not kill everything) it comes into contact with. As such, Council are very cautious in our use of this product as off target damage to surrounding plants is a serious consideration, however glyphosate provides most land managers with a reasonably safe and very effective weed control option for many difficult to treat areas such as rights of way and road verges. Of course, it is imperative that anyone using herbicides of any type must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), adhere to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and product label, and ensure that application is conducted in such a way that avoids and minimises off target damage to surrounding vegetation and exposure to people and animals. Council’s pesticide use notification plan is based on requirements under the Pesticides Regulation 2009. Typically, in high use public areas Council erects signage and notifies via various forms of media including radio and print mediums. Visual signage also notifies the public of the type of works in progress. As per the plan, wet application herbicides are typically dry on the plant within 15 minutes, often half that time in sunny conditions, thus precluding the erection of specific signage – this is where vehicle based signage only is used, which satisfies our obligations under the regulation. With regards to the WHO listing, it is worth noting that glyphosate has been added to the same list as many other potential carcinogens including red meat and wood smoke. Certainly, minimising dermal and respiratory exposure to any chemical is a good thing to practice.

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