Alternative methods of controlling weeds in Exeter city are to be trialled following concerns about glyphosate.
A motion calling for a trial of alternative methods of weeds suppression and management has been backed by the City Council.
The trials will be carried out over the next three years. The city council will assess the success or otherwise of the planned reduction strategy in glyphosate use with regular progress reports to the Scrutiny Committee.
The motion that received unanimous backing from the City Council said that there was “increasing evidence of the dangers to both human health and biodiversity of continuing use of glyphosate weed killer.”
The motion argued: “Glyphosate is deemed ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The exposure route (breathing in or by absorption through the skin) is currently unclear. Two recent high profile court cases in the United States have resulted in Monsanto which manufactures glyphosate under the trade name ‘Roundup’ being successfully sued by individuals for causing their cancers.”
The motion said that in 2018 the GMB Union called for the UK Government to immediately ban glyphosate.
“Other local authorities, notably Glastonbury and Shaftesbury, in the South West have banned the use of glyphosate, and Lyme Regis and Wadebridge have declared they are pesticide-free. Bristol City Council are actively considering the introduction of a phased reduction in glyphosate use,” it added.
On calling for a trial of alternative methods, the Motion concluded: “This council has a duty of care to its citizens and staff and the use of glyphosate has a detrimental effect on biodiversity and the environment in general.”