If you missed the news last week, the largest chemical manufacturer in the world, Monsanto, was in a bit of hot water after loosing its first ‘Roundup’ cancer trial against 46 year old school grounds keeper DeWayne Johnson. The man contacted the company after developing a rash but was never warned it could cause cancer. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 at age 42. The chemical manufacturer were ordered to pay $289M in compensatory damages, for acting with malice, oppression and with reckless disregard for human life.
The activity ingredient in Roundup and many other herbicides is glyphosate, an ingredient which in recent years have caused many heated debates worldwide. Glyphosate has since 2015 been classified as a probable human carcinogen (a chemical known to cause cancer), but some countries are fighting hard to keep it. Australia is one of those countries. At CMC Landscapes we were interested to find out how products containing glyphosate are still on the market, if there is even a slight chance of it being unsafe for humans? As we have been using these products ourselves, this matter could not hit closer to home for us.
As it turns out, all retailers follow advice from Australia’s chemical regulator,The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). On their website APVMA as of today, they state that they are aware of the decision in the Californian Superior Court concerning glyphosate, BUT…”the current assessment by the APVMA, is that products containing glyphosate are safe to use as per the label instructions”.
Disappointed by the lack of action, we feel responsible as gardeners with first hand experience of the danger of working with chemicals, to inspire a change and offer chemical free solutions regardless of what the authorities regard as “safe”. We know the truth, and it is therefore our responsibility to make people aware of the dangers. Glyphosate is not only found in Roundup, it is found in most products used in green space management as well as majority of food and cotton farming. It is so deeply engrained in our society that it has become a rebellious act to speak up about it.
But there is hope and we have a choice! We can choose to use steam instead of chemicals on our gardens and laws, and learn to work with nature and not against her. We can choose to eat 100% organic, and therefore support farmers to move away from chemicals. We need as much detoxing on a societal level as we do personally, so come on this journey with us because we believe nature can still win, if we give her a chance.