Ban public sales of Glyphosate on the Sunshine Coast & ban use on school grounds/parks.

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We call on the Town of Gibsons, District of Sechelt and Sunshine Coast Regional District to propose a province-wide ban on glyphosate based herbicides. We also call on the Sunshine Coast School District 46, the Town of Gibsons, the District of Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast Regional District, to ban the use of glyphosate herbicides on school grounds, playgrounds, parks and where possible, ban the public sale of glyphosate based herbicides on the Sunshine Coast.

Main objectives:
1. Ban glyphosate-based herbicides, exposure to which has been linked to cancer in humans, and has led to degradation of ecosystems;
 
2. Ensure that the scientific evaluation of pesticides for regulatory approval is based only on published studies, which are commissioned by competent public authorities instead of the pesticide industry;
 
3. Set mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use, with a view to achieving a pesticide-free future.

Why is this important?

Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Bayer’s (formerly Monsanto) Roundup, was patented in 1961 and is the most widely used herbicide worldwide.  Six billion kilograms have been released globally in the last decade.

When parks, crops or forests are sprayed with glyphosate, the chemical enters the soil, leaches into the water and residues remain. It’s in the food that we eat, the water we drink, and in our bodies. 

The Precautionary Principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk.  Local government and school board officials would do well to employ this principle.  

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, FIGO, The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, has called for a global phase out of the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate, to protect women and children’s health. 

The most recent meta-analysis published in February 2019, "Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence." states that there is a compelling link between non-Hodgkins lymphoma and glyphosate.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified it (2A) as probably carcinogenic to humans. IARC has a scientific review process that focuses on independence, access to data, and transparency with participation by IARC scientific committee and observation but not participation of many groups (industry and non-industry).  

Precedent:

As of July 2019, glyphosate herbicides are now banned or restricted in 18 countries worldwide, Austria becoming the latest.  Eight out of 10 provinces in Canada have some form of restriction on the use of non-essential cosmetic pesticides, including glyphosate. In June 2019, New Brunswick officials announced that the province would reduce glyphosate spraying in certain areas with the promise that more regulation will follow. Vancouver, Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich have banned public and private use of glyphosate, aside from the treatment of invasive weeds.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) wants the provincial government to ban this controversial herbicide until it has done a thorough scientific and legal study of its safety. The RDCK board has voted to take a resolution to the annual conference of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) in September 2019. If it passes a vote there, the UBCM will lobby the government for a glyphosate study and perhaps a ban.

Lawsuits:

IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen unleashed a flood of lawsuits from Roundup-exposed cancer victims, with experts warning that glyphosate could be the next asbestos.

The first three of an estimated 13,400 lawsuits resulted in stunning verdicts. The first jury awarded Dewayne “Lee” Johnson $289.2 million (since reduced to $78.5 million but he’s appealing the reduction). A second jury awarded Edwin Hardeman $80.2 million. A third jury determined that Monsanto should pay Alva and Alberta Pilliod more than $2 billion. The juries in all three trials found that Roundup exposure caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma, that Monsanto knew the herbicide was carcinogenic, but hid that fact from plaintiffs and the public. 

Importantly, the juries also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.

The messaging around the safety of glyphosate is similar to what was said about tobacco decades ago.  This is not the first time corporations have lied.  We were told tobacco was safe when they knew it wasn’t.