From: Echo Editor
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 8:54 AM
To: Donald Drinkwater ; Echo Editor
Subject: Re: Response form the Herbicide-free network.
I need a name on this, Donald. Can I use yours?
On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 8:21 AM, Donald Drinkwater wrote:
Barbara Stewart’s (Weed management is Complex, 16 December) begs a response –
1. Urban use. A French study (Botta F et al 2009) showed that the contamination of the Orge
basin by glyphosate was essentially from urban origin – it is likely to be the same here so
control of urban and roadway use is of paramount importance. We didn’t really need a ‘trial’
of steam weeding as it is in use in an increasing number of public areas both in Australia and
overseas. For those concerned about public health, steam weeding looks like it is on track
for Byron Shire. Additionally full costing has never been done for herbicide use.
2. Rural roadsides. Unfortunately it is not the case that herbicides are successful on all weeds.
For instance, spraying of Jumpseed at Huonbrook recently was photographically recorded
within weeks as ineffective.
3. I was surprised that Barbara’s analysis of the science behind public concern re herbicide use
resorted to a sweeping and misleading generalisation – “Read about ‘predatory open
access publishing’ in Wikipedia and refer to lists of pseudo-scientific, pseudo-peerreviewed
journals”. If she had researched further she would have noted that Open
Access Journals like Plos One and Entropy are listed in the ‘white list’ compiled by
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which lists open access journals
defined as ‘scientific and scholarly journals that meet high quality standards by
exercising peer review or editorial quality control’. In addition, open access journals
like these are also members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which
oversees journal standards. Several major publishers (including Elsevier, Wiley–Blackwell,
Springer) are also members.
Open access journals have the advantage of being easily accessed, free for readers, and with
rapid publication. They are ideal for publishing research which indicates environmental or
health problems which should be acted on rapidly, if only by repeating the research for
verification. Plos One and Entropy are amongst other peer-reviewed journals which have
carried articles about herbicide (and glyphosate in particular) effects on human and
environmental health, weed resistance, long-term effects in soil etc. For instance, the paper
by Samsel and Seneff in Entropy identified the effect of glyphosate on the animal gut
microbiome which makes understandable health impacts through multiple metabolic
Despite enormous support from mainstream media Elsevier itself lost some scientific
credibility when it retracted a study by Dr. G.Seralini which found gross mammary tumours
and shorter lives in rats from Roundup herbicide and Roundup-tolerant GM maize. In its
retraction, the journal admitted there were no grounds for retraction. The retraction followed
the appointment of ex-Monsanto employee Richard Goodman to the newly created post of
associate editor for biotechnology at Food and Chemical Toxicology. Elsevier has also
retracted another study finding potentially harmful effects from GMOs. However, they have
failed to retract a paper published by Monsanto ‘scientists’ in the same journal in 2004, for
which a gross error has been identified. Other independent scientists have also been
scurrilously targeted by the agribusiness corporates, their arms have a long reach.
We have become used to the co-option of ‘science’ in Universities and bureaucracies by these
massive corporations through our experience with CSG and other mining ventures. With the
TranPacificPartnership being secretly developed which will give corporations even more control, it
is up to us to be more vigilant and investigative and not just believe the corporate advertising.
Co authored by Herbicide-free active bush regenerators…. With sincere thanks to Eileen White, our extraordinary mentor and elder, whose commitment to caring for the land, soil and water is exemplary and an example for future adherents.
Achknowlegement too for David Low and Zheljana Peric from the The Weed’s News coming from the http://weedsnetwork.com/traction? Monash University, for their sharing of the most up to date knowledge regarding weeds and herbicides and how we can evolve without the latter.
AND NOW FOR SOME GREAT INNOVATIVE GRAPHIC ART.