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Weed resistance shows urgent need

Press Release – Weed Management Advisory

Media Release For immediate release Weed resistance shows urgent need to move away from chemical roadside spraying Auckland’s Weed Management Advisory (WMA) says that yesterday’s announcement that the first case of a glyphosate resistant weed …Media Release
For immediate release

Weed resistance shows urgent need to move away from chemical roadside spraying
Auckland’s Weed Management Advisory (WMA) says that yesterday’s announcement that the first case of a glyphosate resistant weed has been confirmed in New Zealand shows the urgent need for Auckland Transport to move away from using this chemical on the streets and roadsides.

Dr Meriel Watts of the WMA said that the call from the Foundation of Arable Research (FAR) that all users of glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, be aware of the dangers of weed resistance, only confirms their concerns about its ubiquitous use for vegetation control on Auckland’s streets and roads.

“As the Foundation noted yesterday, the development of glyphosate-resistant weeds is being hastened by repeated use around such things as roadside markers and crop boundaries” said Dr Watts.

“What is of huge concern to us is that the reduction in the efficacy of glyphosate, coupled with the current advice from AgResearch to alternate its use with other herbicides to avoid building up resistance, could result in farmers and growers using far more toxic chemicals.”

This would be to the detriment of the health and wellbeing of people and the environment said Dr Watts.

In the light of this FAR report, the WMA is urging both Council and Auckland Transport to stop the use of glyphosate for vegetation control now, in order to reduce the pressure on this resistance build-up.

“Considering that Auckland Transport currently sprays 7,200 kms of roads in the Auckland region, it doesn’t take an expert to realise what a huge contribution its discontinuation would bring” says Hana Blackmore of the WMA.

“We are fortunate in this country, and particularly in Auckland, that there are sustainable, safe and proven alternatives for roadside weed and vegetation control, and the continued use of glyphosate is totally unnecessary.”

The WMA is currently involved in, and contributing to, a new weed management policy that is being developed by Auckland Council.

Hana Blackmore says that Council will be going out for public consultation early in the new year and hoped that people would participate and support a non-chemical approach to weed control.

She also hoped that that Federated Farmers would finally see that it was in their own interests to drop their support for roadside vegetation control with glyphosate.

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