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Glyphosate deadlock - drags on

No decision reached in todays vote over the future of glyphosate. At least they managed to vote this time which is more than they managed in October. 28 countries were eligible to vote. 14 FOR, 9 AGAINST, 5 ABSTAINED. 

Last year Malta was the only country to vote against the re-licensing of the crucial active ingredient. A qualified majority is required with each country being allocated a number of votes depending on the size of their population so the abstentions will be crucial to the re-vote scheduled for the end of the month.

Reuters News 

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            • PRO

              Well that first reply did not work! I agree with you 100% on that. We offer a completely organic lawn care program, including moss and thatch and disease treatments and not a single chemical or blackened moss from iron in site. Those techniques that you use are now taken for granted. I might start a thread asking about other peoples organic lawn care techniques as they are also more efficient for us and the customer anyhow in my opinion.

              When we have used the minimal amount of chemical it was completely unavoidable and all other options were considered such as flame gun, light deprivation and complete removal of this graveled area and re-laying. This 3000m2 area was too set in to be hand weeded leaving only one option which was an application on a hard surface.  

    • PRO

      Hi Ben. This is ok on a small scale but on a large scale glyphosate is very important. It is important to keep the railways weed free, Roads, Schools, Also in the fight against invasive species in riparian environments there is no other option.

      Glyphosate doesnt actually damage soil, In fact microorganismsand bacteria in the soil help break it down and it then becomes a form of phosphate that they can use. It is a very narrow spectrum antibiotic against very specific pathogens but not many. I think you misunderstand how the pesticide and amenity industry is going at the moment. There has been a huge push in the past 10 years towards a more " environment first" ethos. There are so many checks and codes of practice that you must adhere to that making a mistake is not normally an option. Also it whos going to pay for it. You have created a niche market with people who buy into the organic non pesticde option but schools , local authorities and sports clubs just cant afford to go manual again. You say that we wouldnt put bicarb or salt on fields..... of course you do... you put it on grass to sweeten it or on sugarb beet... salt = sweet... also bicarb or andrews liver salts are great for your garden plants. They are way more toxic than glyphosate... in fact spray washing up liquid on an insect and watch it curl up in a painfull death... glyphosate doesn't do that.  before going chemical free,understand  about the chemicals and do more research. The Uk voted for renewal because we have a country to run and as an environmental consultant and a BASIS adviser i feel that you handing out advice in here using the words like " disgrace" without fully understanding the implications of what you are talking about does gniggle me somewhat .i know that in reality organic farming puts more pressure on the environment and agricultural land than conventional farming but I admit it i can charge more money for the goods.... although i dont buy organic for my kids. We do minimise chemical use and we always do an enviromental risk asessment  as a company. The countryside is cleaner than its ever been. Rivers are more protected and cleaner, There is less rubbish than at any time in the last 40 years. Industrial wastelands from the last centuries are now being cleaned up.......  my biggest problem is plastics in the environment and yoga teachers  and head shop owners telling me my job. These same yoga teachers would prefer to buy 5 plastic bottles on 3 month old water rather than refill a container with fresh water and buy their fruit salads ready made from waitrose in a plastic pot.   This is where the battle is. Educating the people who think they know best when in fact they have been fed a load of old bollocks from american " organic" companies. 

      • PRO

        I think what Ben is pointing towards is more responsible attitude to the environment. 

        'Organic' has been as hypocritical as anything else -- i believe even a few years ago - Organic flour grains would have aracnid smoke bombs let off in their storage units on a Friday after the working week - ready for milling the following. 

        But at least Organic has tried to in its best case be responsible - even if a bit hypocritcal at times. 

        Sure many educated professionals also  have a 'responsible' attitude to chemical use - but i think the issue here is those that have not been responsible in their chemical use over the last decades. 

        I dont think theres any doubt that plenty of farmers, councils and companies have irresponsibly dumped vast amounts of chemicals onto the land and that that has had a very negative impact on our environment. 

        I dont think the issue is Organic or not organic -- its more Permanent or future agriculture, education and responsibilty.

        • PRO

          Hi Dan. Yes that's about right. Its what happened in the previous 4 or 5 decades when we didn't know so much about what happened to chemicals in the environment and the damage done in the search for cheaper and more profitable food production.  What has happened in the last decade is that everything has really tightened up and many of the more toxic and residual chemicals have been removed. The problem is by removing glyphosate we are basically removing one of the most benign  compounds in our toolbox. What happens when i cant treat crassula helmsii with glyphosate do we do what the dutch did and spent 35 million euros destroying a riparian habitat with excavators in a project that not only didnt work but spread it to other areas just because thier green party decided that glyphosate was the new plutonium.... seriously... there are too many people reading too much on the internet and making too many noises.. one little buzz is fine but when you get a million people buzzing as per AVAAZ or PAN who do parents and grandparents listen too?  These misled and uneducated people are actually doing teh exact opposite of what they think they are doing and are going to harm the enviroment rather than help it..... i had a guy start telling me all about my job this weekend and how iI should do things because he was an enviromentalist...... He plays the flute at festivals to butterflies and hippies and sells legal highs and bongs at his head shop. When i pointed many of the facts out to him and pointed out where he was wrong he actually started arguing with me an sending me more links from sites such as natural news and foodbabe type pages........  this is the problem .. its people who think they know best actually don't and if you dont agree with them you are part of the conspiracy.  My answer to that is when the shit hits the fan with invasive species in rivers or a development site with heavy metals and asbestos in it who's phone goes off.... I don't need all these links to prove a point most of it is in my head and that;s what i get paid for. I feel like its claoding teh stable door after the horse has bolted but with the horse nicey tied up in another paddock with sweet grass. 

        • PRO

          Exactly. We have developed and researched many organic techniques which we use. Today we label everything we do and then a very stringent set of rules to that label. If you say you are vegan then you can never eat meat again. Some people are vegan for health reason and actually love eating meat sometimes, what is the harm and why such black and white rules for everything all of the time. It is your actions and not your words that count.

          It is a balance whereby by the environment comes first and our ease or selfish needs to use a product that has no positive effects on the environment comes as a last resort and used sparingly.   

      • PRO

        Glyphosate does damage the soil. Microorganisms break everything down in the soil eventually but at what cost and over how long? Manufacturers claim it takes two weeks and research shows that it is still active in the soil for 2-3 years. This is a man made chemical designed to kill vegetation and is toxic. It harms the life and the microorganisms in the soil who are vital to the soil health and sustainability. My point on the salts is that Glyphosate is being compared to salt on a toxicity level as to how benign it is. The fact that is still compared to a product that if applied to the soil to achieve the same results would render the soil barren. Salts are used throughout horticulture of course but not used in order to kill off large green areas or control rampant weeds. As for washing up liquid, still full of chemicals in most cases designed to kill living organisms on a very small scale.

        I have done a lot of research in this area and am passionate about developing and researching organic techniques in order to negate the need to use chemicals at all in any area of the garden or grounds. 

        The main point is that chemicals, such as glyphosate, provide no benefit to the environment what so ever and has a very long list of negative effects and unproven effects. The only people who benefit from its us is us due buy saving us time, labour and money. This is entirely the wrong way round as we did not  have this product until its conception in 1973. That is only 44 years ago and we are already at this point with health issues arising from it and farmland going barren, water run off becoming a noticeable problem and misuse of the chemical everywhere I look from over application, unnecessary area application and ethically unjust application (to ripen crops only 14 days before harvest which then goes straight into the food chain shown by our bread contamination being so high).


        • PRO

          Thats where you are wrong Ben. I do understand your stance on chemicals but glyphosate is essential in the fight against invasive species especially in riparian environments. You cannot dig out knotweed from a river bank or crassula hellmsii because you just transfer viable propagules downriver. Also glyphosate has now replaced many of the more toxic chemicals that where used such as sodium chlorate, paraquat, dichlobenyll etc. I can guarantee that glyphosate is not active in the soil for 2-3 years as we use it to clear areas that are to be sown with wildflower seeds and football pitches. You say it is a man made chemical but it is a very simple glycene molecule with phosphate attached to it. It is great doing lots of research but where you do your research or get your information is very important. The application to crops is done on moisture contant and not time. Once the seeds are ripened enough the glyphosate doesnt enter them. Of course there are some residual levels and really i dont like it being used as a pre harvest " desiccant" not because glyphosate is dangerous but because the public perception of a pesticide in parts per billion in bread is unpalatable. That said it replaces other more toxic desiccants so the argument is  that it is replacing something far worse and this benefits the environment. I would argue that there is any rising health issues from glyphosate and as far as I have seen with years of research and the qualifications to prove it that all studies that llink glyphosate to autism , NHL, Cancer, parkinsons and even brain anuerisms have been at best unproven and at worst spurious and funded from vested interests such as the organic food industry or the so called naturopaths who sell supplements and chakra massaging online :). If you can carve out a niche market on a small scale undertaking gardening without any fertilisers or chemicals thats great because that what we all work towards but in a larger context local authorities, schools, infrastructure managment will be very much more costly without the use of glyphosate and way more dangerous in some cases.

          • PRO

            I really admire your knowledge and am finding this all very interesting but am still very weary of the risks that this man made product poses to most definitely the soil but I believe us as well. I don't need to wait for a scientist to tell me that a chemical deigned to kill stuff is bad for us as well. The cotton fields of America and India are prime examples of misuse of chemicals and the effects it has had have been devastating, particularly in India. This might not have anything to do with glyphosate (I don't think it does but the other cocktail ingredients certainly do) but something is clearly not right with the processes and products that we use, otherwise this debate would not be happening at all.

            Bloody computer did not put the rest on. In summary, a load of scientific reports studying the effects of glyphosate on micro-organisms and earthworms etc in the soil concluded almost definitively that all are affected with reproduction being halved, activity being much slower many key 'players' been reduced in number as well as individual decreases in biomass size for the worms. They also examined the effect this would have on repeatedly treated ground which concluded that some effects such as the blocking of the shikimic pathway and the decline in beneficial bacteria make replanted soil or the application of chemicals on planted plants more susceptible to attacks via pathogens. 

            As previously stated, the use of chemicals is not wrong as you point to invasive species which I agree with. But there are many other ways to treat school areas and places where the public, kids, pets and beneficial plants are present. We use many effective and comparative techniques that are 100% safe, no questions asked. If this was so safe, then why would be having this discussion in the first place?

            • PRO
              Read up on the famous Dr Huber where you lifted that information from. . Please don't tar us with the same brush as India and the USA. We lead the world in environmental protection. Also don't fall into the Indian " Monsanto causes suicides" of an activist called Vandana shiva. You're a young gardener who's been doing this for a couple of years yeah? I've walked in your shoes fella.. I've been using and studying this shit from the bad old days in the 80s and 90s. Things are good now. We are having this discussion because there's a lot of money in going backwards. Organic food is expensive, environmental work and tge holistic lifestyle industry is very profitable
              There are huge amounts of money in litigation against big corporations.
              There are a lot of well meaning people that have been manipulated by a social media tidal wave of guilt for how we treated the planet a few decades ago and now they are demonising the people who have spent the last decades fixing it and looking at ways to manage it more safely and responsibly.
              • PRO

                Dr Huber! I have used a variety of in depth sources, all of which I have read and a conclusive summary of all works. This most certainly not from one source. When I grab a second I will put some of the titles together for everyones interest. I am also not referencing the suicides in India at all. The chemical usages in the USA has got better but there used to be problems highlighting the danger of the product. In India there are entire villages who only work on the cotton fields that are riddled with cancer, mutilations, brain development and disorders in adults and newborns. The only potentially harmful product that surrounds them is the chemicals that they use on the fields. This is visible fact, go and visit to see for yourself. I am not saying this is just glyphosate but the entire chemical usage cocktail and practice associated with it. 

                Things are better now but still not right at all and our mindset is still firmly in the camp of chemical first and maybe an alternative thrown in to keep our environmental policy viable. I see this happening all around me everyday in councils, farms, schools, private homes etc. I have worked and have been surrounded my entire life with people who feel as if they rely entirely on chemicals. Common sense alone tells us that this cannot be good for us or the environment. We used to farm without them not long ago at all as our timeline goes so why not develop better ways to carry out jobs? Someone said it before on here, our food is far too cheap. We need to eat less of the most expensive foods and become a little more grounded, instead of feeling as though it is our right to pay cheap and eat any food we like in or out of season and from all over the world.   

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