.John Elliott: Memo to Council - Please take your own advice

Item K iv of the resource consent to fell the pines. “(We) recommend that all weeding in the park be chemical free.”

It’s getting ridiculous. I keep banging on about banning the proven carcinogen, glyphosate, from the whole Auckland Council region, but it goes on and on. Other activists have been campaigning against Round Up containing glyphosate for much longer than me.

The above statement from the resource consent agreed to by the Waitematā Local Board by four votes to three, called for chemical free weeding. Let’s hope they stick to their own plan.

Even our very own Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is having a cautious rethink. They have called for submissions from the public on the use of glyphosate - the manufacture, importation, and patterns of use of glyphosate in this country, as well as information on the availability of alternatives, and any impacts on Maori.

However, they go on to say, “we have no evidence that risks associated with using glyphosate, or its hazardous nature, have changed.”

The EPA still needs to open its eyes to death from cancers, and from the facts around court cases implicating Monsanto and now new owner Bayer, in multi-million dollar suits. Bayer must be regretting ever buying glyphosate from Monsanto.

As I have alleged before in a Ponsonby News article, our EPA takes its cue from the US EPA, which has been implicated in questionable collusions with the manufacturers, Monsanto. I have also quoted the seminal book, ‘The Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson, published in 1960, after which DDT was finally banned.

It also took years to prove how 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T produced by New Plymouth firm Ivan Watkins Dow was killing people, and it was finally banned. 2,4,5,T was a major ingredient of Agent Orange which decimated millions in Vietnam.

I take no pleasure in the thought of glyphosate persisting for too much longer. Consider this little pantomime from 2040.

“Remember that old guy John Elliott who raved on about the dangers of glyphosate in the Ponsonby News for so long in the early 2020s. Well he was right all along. I have a niece who has developed cancer, and the specialists have found that her family lived next door to a landscape gardener in a Northland town. The neighbour sprayed glyphosate like it was going out of fashion, which it clearly should have years ago."

“But glyphosate is banned isn’t it?"

“It is now, probably twenty years too late for my niece. It stays in the body and can manifest as deadly cancer years down the track."

“Why didn’t authorities listen to people like John Elliott 20 years ago?”

There are seven members of the Waitematā Local Board: Chair Richard Northey, Deputy Chair Alex Bonham, Adriana Christie, Kerrin Leoni, Graham Gunthorp, and Sarah Trotman. As we have seen this year, it takes only four of those seven to make momentous decisions.

I expect four will oppose further use of glyphosate, but I hope I’m wrong. I hope seven will bite the bullet, and vote for the health of all Aucklanders.

Come on local board, be an important part of history, and vote this carcinogen down. (JOHN ELLIOTT)

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