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Stop using Roundup herbicide at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

This petition had 439 supporters

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is a national treasure, where South Africans and visitors from all over the globe gather to appreciate the unique and exceptional biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Kids running barefoot, picnics in the grass, wading in the streams, music performances in the summer; all tarnished by the toxic chemicals being sprayed on Kirstenbosch's lawns. Roundup, an herbicide created by the Monsanto group, has negative effects associated with even low-dose, casual exposure.

The creators of the herbicide point to studies which suggest that it is safe, but these have been directly or indirectly associated with Monsanto. In addition, most of the studies referenced that point to Roundup's safety have focused on Glyphosate, one active ingredient, and not on the effects of Glyphosate when combined with other chemical additives, such as those used in Roundup. Recent research done on the specific chemical formulation of Roundup points to its toxicity in cells, particularly those of embryonic, placental, and umbilical cord cells. The US's Environmental Protection Agency mandates the use of protective clothing while near Roundup and instructs users not to re-enter treated fields for at least four hours after spraying. No such protections are in place at Kirstenbosch, administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), where the chemical is used during normal hours of operation, with no public notification. A study conducted by France's University of Caen which appeared in the January 2009 issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology concluded that Glyphosate, POEA [a Roundup ingredient] and all four Roundup formulations caused cellular damage. According to the journal The Scientific American which cites the study, '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. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”

Sign this petition to urge SANBI and Kirstenbosch to find alternative, organic ways of managing the garden without using Roundup or other potentially toxic weedkillers, and thus ensure that Kirstenbosch remains a safe, healthy place to visit, for children to play, and a green refuge in our city.



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Christina Rock needs your help with “Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden: Stop using Roundup herbicide at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden”. Join Christina and 438 supporters today.