John Elliott: There is a real alternative to glyphosate

One of the criteria for agreeing to a reassessment is that there is new evidence about a product and there certainly is about glyphosate. Recent court cases in California have found in favour of cancer patients to the tune of millions of dollars awarded against maker Monsanto. The courts also found widespread corruption by Monsanto in collusion with the US EPA, where internal emails between the company and the EPA confirmed that the EPA was not only not protecting US citizens from herbicide danger, but was actively protecting Monsanto.

Another criterion for a reassessment is that an alternative is available, and there is one.

A new product to the market in New Zealand, Foamstream, is getting traction in the market. Foamstream works on a wide variety of common weeds as well as moss, algae and lichen. Its dual purpose, low pressure heat application also means it works well as a stone and timber cleaner.

The foam is made from natural plant oils and sugars making it safe for use around people, animals and delicate environments. It is biodegradable and good for the planet.

The active ingredient in Foamstream is the heat from the hot water. The foam insulates the hot water, ensuring the heat is not lost to the atmosphere. This ensures the heat covers the plant for long enough for it to kill or severely damage the plant.

The company, WeedingTech, who produce Foamstream are working with councils and contractors around the country to provide an alternative to chemical herbicide use in our public spaces, with machines now working in both Auckland and Christchurch.

Foamstream service is designed to offer a service to the residential market. This means the technology is no longer restricted to larger contractors using the tech for commercial purposes.

Owner Matt Kirby is a most knowledgeable and approachable young man, so I contracted him to try the process out on some of my most recalcitrant weeds at home. Spraying brick and paved paths proved very effective. Weeds were killed dead in a couple of days.

Accompanying photos show before and after shots around our section. The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.

This just hopefully will be the breakthrough we need to control our weedy environment and consign the poisonous Roundup with glyphosate to history where it will join other nasties like 2.4,D, 2,4,5,T, and DDT.

Ponsonby News will keep pestering until glyphosate is finally banned. Good luck Matt Kirby with your new, much needed alternative. (JOHN ELLIOTT)

#glyphosate  #ponsonbynews #foamstream #weedingtec