The East London Garden Society

Ban Glyphosate Based Herbicides

Please help us have Glyphosate banned, not only in Tower Hamlets but in London generally. If you care about the environment, we urge you to sign the Petition now.

Please note that only people who are resident or work in Tower Hamlets are allowed to sign this petition. If you live or work in another borough, why not set up your own petition?

View this video to learn the real truth about Monsanto’s Roundup (Glyphosate)

Can Monsanto chemicals permanently alter your child’s genes? Low‐income Latin American tobacco farmers face skyrocketing cancer rates with more devastating repercussions affecting their children including severe physical deformities and mental disabilities.
See Genetically Modified Children to find out more.

Update - August 2018

The following letter has been received by John Biggs, Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets from their Green Team and Contracts Manager regarding the continued use of Glyphosate.

“I write in response to your query received on 5 July 2018, regarding the use of Glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the principle chemical used for the treatment of weeds within Parks and the Public Highway, and we currently carry out four spot treatments per annum. In November 2017 the European Commission approved Glyphosate use within the EU for a further five years following a comprehensive review of the product. This concluded that glyphosate does not cause cancer nor, when used according to good agricultural practice, poses an unacceptable risk to the environment.

There are currently no legal grounds justifying a ban of glyphosate and there is currently no other product known to be as effective as Glyphosate ‐ which is a systemic herbicide that is absorbed via the foliage and roots.

If the approval status for Glyphosate changes, or an alternative but more efficient option becomes available we will review this position.
Michael Hime, Green Team and Contracts Manager, Tower Hamlets”

Despite the above, seventy‐two countries have banned or are in the process of banning Glyphosate including many major European nations. These same arguments were used by those against the banning of DTT, Thalidomide, smoking, and asbestos.

The borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Lewes and Glastonbury have now banned Glyphosate and the councillors of Lambeth and Kinston‐Upon‐Thames have signed a pledge to have the product banned. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an internationally recognised body, states that Glyphosate is an inducing agent for cancer. But it appears that Tower Hamlets knows different and insists there is not an alternative to using this herbicide, and have probably not even enquired about acceptable and safer alternatives.

In a recent landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. As a result, the chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay £226m damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer. See Court Rules Against Monsanto for details.

If you wish to show your disgust regarding the attitude of the Green Team and Contracts Manager at Tower Hamlets regarding Glyphosate, write to Mayor John Biggs, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 2BG

Update - March 2018

Statement from the Mayor: “Our manifesto has already been agreed by Labour councillors and is already at the printers, so it’s too late to add this specific commitment right now. However, I’m happy to investigate the science around this issue and if I’m convinced, I will be more than happy to ban its use in the Parks and Open Spaces of Tower Hamlets.”

Avaaz, the global campaign network, is on the point of beating Monsanto, crumbling the cornerstone of its billion‐dollar empire! Europe has tried on six occasions to get Monsanto’s toxic mega‐killer glyphosate relicensed. Six times Avaaz has blocked it and now opposition is so strong they could win a total ban.

France and Germany have just temporarily stopped the relicensing, but now they’re under huge pressure to cave in which is where you come in. If just 40,000 of us chip in today, Avaaz can launch an emergency campaign to beat Monsanto with urgent mobilisations in Paris and Berlin, and meetings and media to ensure politicians across Europe stay strong.

Avaaz are so close to beating Monsanto and getting this killer off the shelves, so please chip in by Donating Now to help the fight.

Monsanto thought that getting glyphosate’s licence renewed would just be a rubber stamp. But after a mega‐petition with two million Avaazers, thousands of messages to ministers, polls, ads, and scientific and legal presentations, the media says that Monsanto has been ‘blindsided’.

A win in Europe will threaten Monsanto’s entire business model, worldwide. The US and Canada are also watching closely as they decide what to do about glyphosate. If Europe acts now, it could start a ripple effect that could finally mean a global ban. Monsanto is covering social media with ads and unleashing an army of lobbyists to protect their poison. But we’re winning, and if enough of us chip in now, Avaaz can counter their ads and overwhelm ministers with the voice of voters.

Avaaz are extraordinarily close to banishing this poison, so please help them by donating now and help them win. They’ve been beating against the odds one of the most powerful corporations in the world for two years. They’re now at the last hurdle so let’s all pitch in, and ensure this chemical is stopped from poisoning us and our planet.

With hope, determination and thanks from the Avaaz team

The View of The London Borough of Tower Hamlets

The following is a letter from R Wayre (Interim Head of Clean Green & Highways) to Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

“In response to your query received on 17 November 2017, regarding the use of Glyphosate, the use of Glyphosate is approved for use within the UK. It is used within parks as a spot treatment for invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed, and hard surfaces and on the public highways as part of the Highways Weed Control Contract. Whilst we adopt a pesticide minimisation policy there is no recognised substitute for this product.

No pesticide can be used in the EU unless it is scientifically proven that it:
‐ Doesn’t harm people’s health;
‐ Has no unacceptable effects on the environment;
‐ Is effective against pests.
Companies wanting to register herbicide products for use in the EU must apply to the relevant national authority. The application must include information on comprehensive scientific analysis.

All evaluations of glyphosate by regulatory authorities have so far concluded that glyphosate does not pose any unacceptable risk to human health, the environment or non?target animals and plants. The fact that glyphosate binds strongly to soil and that it degrades rapidly in soil and water is significant factors in its favourable safety profile. Glyphosate’s overall low toxicity and its good safety profile are major benefits which have contributed to the widespread use of glyphosate based plant protection products.

Glyphosate products undergo rigorous testing in the European Union and are all given registration numbers approving the safety and efficacy of each individual product. The glyphosate products typically hold an LD50 rating of 5000+mg/kg bodyweight (LD50 is the unit in which toxicity is measured with a lower number indicating greater toxicity). By contrast to this, Aspirin has an LD50 of 1000mg/kg and so is 5 times as toxic as glyphosate, vinegar has an LD50 of 3300mg/kg, pepper 800mg/kg and coffee has an LD50 of 192mg/kg!

In conclusion, it seems that it is not possible to entirely rule out that glyphosate could be carcinogenic, which seems to be the reason for the up‐regulation by the IARC from ‘unclassifiable’. However due to limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and other mammals in testing, it is also not possible to conclude that it does pose a cancer risk. Whilst glyphosate products are still deemed safe to use by the relevant UK and European authorities and are therefore still approved for use, not only in amenity but in many agricultural situations and on many crops found in our supermarkets.”

Unfortunately, the Council is going against majority opinion from those outside the industry. Many are concerned about the detrimental effects of Glyphosate, which is why many countries have banned the product with severe restrictions on its use.

It is still debateable as to whether you should spray the earth with a toxic substance which may prove detrimental to society. We are now at the stage where evidence suggests that this spray must not be used, until proven safe. The above response from The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, alludes to the possible danger that Glyphosate can cause cancer, which is the concern of most people.