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disputed chemical

4已有 649 次阅读  2018-11-02 03:11

  Coillte sprays tonne of disputed chemical

  State forestry body Coillte sprays more than a tonne of the weedkiller glyphosate each year on its forests and recreational amenity areas, according to new figures.

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  The weedkiller, which is sold under the trade name of Roundup, was the subject of a $39m payout in the US this year, after a court ruled that the chemical had contributed to a groundsman’s terminal cancer.

  In 2015, the World Health Organization found that glyphosate is classified as probably carcinogenic to humans, with a Group 2A classification. Dublin City Council has announced a trial run of alternatives to its use as a weedkiller on its streets and parks, while France and Germany are seeking to ban the herbicide, which in November 2017 was relicensed by the European Council.

  Last year, Coillte used 1,046kg of active ingredient of glyphosate across 28,305 hectares of planting. In 2016, Coillte used 1,065kg of active ingredient of glyphosate across a planting area of 26,290 hectares of planting.

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  Coillte also said it uses glyphosate on its recreation sites, but that “not every site needed” to be sprayed with Roundup.

  The commercial semi-state body, which is the biggest landowner in the country with control over 7% of all land, owns 260 recreational sites across the country, plus 12 forest parks.

  The Green party is calling for an immediate ban on the use of glyphosate in domestic use, and a phased ban on its use in agriculture over the next four years.

  Green party leader Eamon Ryan said local residents should be told when Coillte is spraying glyphosate.

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  “The glyphosate usage is just another sign of an unsustainable forestry approach Coillte is pursuing — not just Coillte but the whole state,” he said. “The model is based on short rotation, and clear-felling of Sitka spruce monocultures. people should be told when there is spraying of glyphosate. But, from the broader perspective, Coillte needs to change its forestry model. If they switched to a continuous cover forestry model they wouldn’t have to spray glyphosate.”

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  Coillte says its use of glyphosate is “relatively low” compared to agricultural and horticultural sectors.

  Author Rosita Sweetman questioned how Coillte can “claim to be ‘sustainable’ and ‘environmental’ while continuing to use these really dangerous pesticides”.

  She said: “Cypermethrin and RoundUp are both carcinogens. Do they have available water, ground water and soil tests for these areas? How often are water and soil tests conducted by them to take account of bio-accumulation of RoundUp in the soil and water?”

  She also called on Coillte to indicate which plantations it has sprayed.

  Coillte said glyphosate has been declared as safe for use in forestry nationally. It added that tests for bioaccumulation and toxicity of chemicals are conducted by the pesticide registration and control division of the Department of Agriculture.

  “Warning signs are erected on forest trails and recreational areas when conducting spraying operations to make the public aware of the operation,” it added.

  “We record all of our use of the product and our procedures are checked and audited regularly both internally and externally.”

  It said it had not carried out tests on the interaction between glyphosate and cypermethrin, but added that both chemicals are approved for use on forestry in Ireland by the Department of Agriculture.

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