John Elliott: Open letter to the NZ Environmental Protection Authority

We are calling for a reassessment of glyphosate use.

Dear Professor,

On behalf of a group of very concerned New Zealanders, I am calling on you to instigate a reassessment of the use of glyphosate-containing products in New Zealand.

Action on the probable carcinogenicity of glyphosate has moved quite quickly since the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s 2015 report and the EPA’s 2016 report which arguably used outdated and, in some cases, industry-supplied research, and largely dismissed the expert cancer scientist’s findings.

Significant evidence has emerged at the court cases against Monsanto, particularly in California, where very large fines have been levied on Monsanto.

New owner, Bayer, who bought Monsanto for 63 billion dollars, appears to be seriously regretting its purchase. Board members and senior executives of Bayer are under huge pressure to resign.

One of the outcomes of the various court cases has been the collusion established between Monsanto and the US Environmental Protection Agency, who I know is one of your more important informants.

If that collusion has obscured or distorted the truth about glyphosate, and influenced the NZ EPA decisions, this is cause for concern about the integrity of government organisations.

You have some very experienced members on your Hazardous Substances Committee, many with decades of experience in their field. It is, however, important to keep thoroughly up to date with 21st Century research, and the latest court revelations.

I can produce people for your investigation who will give you chapter and verse how glyphosate has damaged their health. It would be seriously disturbing if you should wait until we see confirmed cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other cancers develop in New Zealand, when overseas evidence is clear that glyphosate products, especially Roundup, are causing cancer around the world.

There are alternatives available, including non-toxic foam spraying, and mechanical removal of weeds. A growing number of people are saying let a few weeds grow rather than place our children at risk of cancer.

I’m sure that retired toxicologist Dr Wayne Temple did his best to produce a fair review in August 2016, but careful analysis shows the report’s flaws, and anyway science and court cases have moved on quickly, leaving both the US EPA and Monsanto on the wrong side of history.

Please don’t let our EPA join that suspect group. You can, and I’m sure will, do better in protecting New Zealanders from a now clearly established, dangerous chemical. I look forward to your reply.

John Elliott, QSM, Founder and Contributing Editor, Ponsonby News


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