Custodians of the soil
Commonly used by farmers to control weeds, and Landcare groups to kill grass and weeds before tree planting, many don’t have any qualms about using glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup® – but not the Storti’s and thousands of other organic farmers.
Stephen and Lee Storti are in their second year of converting to organic; it takes three years to achieve full organic certification.
Lee says, “I’ve been planting trees for years and we were asked in 2009 by Landcare to spot spray grass so it wouldn’t compete with the trees. We refused to do it so they wouldn’t support us to plant them. We did them ourselves.
“We planted 10,000 trees and the success rate was terrific despite not killing the grass beforehand. When you spot spray, the chemicals go into rivers. I’m not a real Landcarer who goes to a lot of meetings but I’m definitely a tree taker.”
Lee says, “Sometimes I can smell glyphosate when l am out and about in the district. We’re just using it too freely. It’s killing all the biology. There’s an amazing factory under the soil and if you kill off stuff underneath you’re interrupting the process.”
All hands on deck need to finish the follow up work of Bitou Bush seedling, we are not far. Join us on Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare, next working bee will be on Saturday, the 23rd of May, from 8 am to 12 noon, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Head Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk 200 m along the beach from the dog walking beach accessed, heading South and turn west into the dunes. We will be there, doing follow up work of Bitou Bush and Glory Lily. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water and some morning tea.
International Doctors Demand Immediate Ban on Glyphosate Herbicide
The International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) has written to officials of the EU Parliament and Commission asking for an immediate ban on glyphosate herbicides and four insecticides judged by the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, IARC, to be probable carcinogens.
The stinging tree (Dendrocnide excels) is sparsely distributed here in existing rainforest and in some areas of disturbed or lantana cleared areas. A beautiful tree to look up to from below but a tree that I learnt, by painful exposure, to never touch. It took three months at least before the pain and sting subsided when I first encountered its leaf. See photo below.
On an ABC 3 an English nature doco on Friday night, the presenter was here in Australia and was suitably gowned and face masked up before touching the Stinging tree’s leaves but his protection wasn’t enough for him not to get stung, luckily for him his team had on hand, ( a valueable bit of advice for me and my workers ) the common hair removal waxing strips, available from chemists, as a ready and effective remedy.
Some welcome local news. Another herbicide free group of local residents are to begin taking care of their road frontages, therefore removing the Council’s spasmodic contracted spraying programme.
Pesticide Action Network
The latest news about Monsanto’s RoundUp underscores the need for real and lasting food system change.
You’ve probably heard the news. A few weeks ago, global health experts announced that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, is a probable human carcinogen.
It’s the ultimate example of the “pesticide treadmill” that farmers across the country have been facing for years. A pesticide stops working, or is found to be more harmful than originally thought. Another chemical is brought in to replace it — and when the next round of problems arise, yet another.
Let’s get off this treadmill! » It’s time to put a stop to this dangerous cycle. That’s why — with your help — we work to reduce reliance on chemicals that put farmers, workers, land-care workers and volunteers and rural communities at risk, and spur investments in agroecology.
And from Sum of Us:
This is the deal that could create the ultimate super villain. Monsanto wants to launch a takeover bid of its key competitor Syngenta, one of the biggest pushers of bee-killing pesticides in the world. The new megacorp would boast a combined revenue of $30 billion and control over 35% of the world’s seed supply.
Imagine this: Monsanto eliminates one of its biggest competitors and tightens its grip on the global farming industry. Our precious wildlife like bees, birds, and butterflies suffer as Monsanto spreads its pesticides further and wider. More and more small-scale farmers are bullied if they refuse to buy Monsanto’s seeds.
The deal’s not sealed and we can stop this now. Syngenta shareholders have already rejected Monsanto’s initial $45 billion offer, but Monsanto’s planning a new offer. Anti-trust regulators in the US and Europe are already skeptical of big corporate mergers, and have the power to stop this. With strong, targeted pressure from a concerned public, we can make this deal unravel.
Tell European and US regulators to stop this ridiculous takeover.