Plaid leader Calls For Urgent Advice On Use Of Controversial Chemical

10/06/2019

 

The Welsh Government needs to issue advice on the use of controversial chemical glyphosate as a matter of urgency, says the leader of Caerphilly council’s Plaid Cymru group, Colin Mann.

His appeal comes in a wake of a Freedom of Information request to Caerphilly council which revealed a glyphosate-based herbicide was used on roads and streets, in public car parks, rear lanes, footpaths, pavements and along bypass routes.

In March in California a jury ordered the chemical giants Monsanto to pay £226m damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer. The World Health Organisation has said it is “probably carcinogenic” to humans but the European Commission has granted the weedkiller another five-year licence.

The Freedom of Information request also revealed the council spent almost £127,000 on the weedkiller. The authority has insisted that the use of a glyphosate-based herbicide is currently the most effective and legal way of treating weeds on the highway, although it has tried hand weeding, burning and hot foam to kill weeds.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “Reports in the media have highlighted health concerns about the use of glyphosate following a court case in the United States. Damages of more than £200m were awarded to a groundskeeper man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

“There seems to be conflicting views from the World Health Organisation and the European Commission about the use of this chemical which is in widespread use in Wales and further afield.

 

“Therefore, we urgently need a clear and unequivocal safety advice from the Welsh Government to provide assurance to residents and those who work with this chemical in Caerphilly and across Wales. Clearly, if effective and safe alternatives  are available they need to be considered.”