Wellingborough Council to continue using controversial weedkiller despite global cancer risk concerns

Wellingborough Council is set to continue using a controversial weedkiller despite it being branded a cancer risk by global health bosses.
Wellingborough Council is set to continue using a controversial weedkiller despite it being branded a cancer risk by global health bosses.
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Wellingborough Council is set to continue using a controversial weedkiller despite it being branded a cancer risk by global health bosses.

Powerful weedkiller Glyphosate is routinely used in parks, green spaces and other public areas in a bid to kill pests such as Japanese knotweed.

But last month it was named as a “probable” carcinogen by the World Health Organisation (WHO), prompting French and Dutch authorities to ban it.

The move has seen a number of local authorities in the UK also end their use of the herbicide, including Edinburgh City Council.

A spokesman for Wellingborough Norse, a joint venture with Wellingborough Council which provides cleaning and maintenance services in the town, confirmed that it will still be using Glyphosate.

The spokesman said: “We are still using weedkillers that contain Glyphosate.

“We understand that the EU is assessing the situation and further tests are required.

“However, Glyphosate is still a legal product and available for use.

“We will monitor the issue and react accordingly to government advice.”

The decision has drawn criticism from the local gardener Jonathan Hornett, who owns Hornett Garden Services in Wellingborough.

He feels the council should be using a newer method of weedkilling, taking away the risk posed by Glyphosate.

He said: “This weedkiller can cause cancer and it’s got a lot of people worried, especially pensioners and those with kids.

“Other councils have stopped using it so Wellingborough Council should follow suit, it’s polluting the atmosphere.

“Spreading chemicals is the laziest form of weedkilling and the best way of getting rid of them is by using hot high water pressure, which basically boils them.

“Reports recently have said that it’s not thought to be dangerous but that’s untrue.

“Wellingborough Council has the ultimate responsibilty for people’s health.

“I do the gardens for a lot of councillors and I’ve made them well aware of the risks.”