SHIRE of Mundaring has reassessed the use of the common herbicide glyphosate following findings it does not cause cancer or pose a genotoxic risk to humans.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) review of scientific evidence and the Australian Department of Health’s Office of Chemical Safety (OCS) concluded it was not a risk.
Shire president David Lavell said at its meeting last month council decided to continue using glyphosate in accordance with product specifications, as well as continuing to trial other weed control methods.
“We understand that some residents have concerns about the use of herbicides but overall the community expects the Shire to effectively manage weeds,” he said.
“Unfortunately invasive weeds increase bushfire fuel loads as well as competing with native plants.
“When weeds thrive they displace the native vegetation and affect the food and shelter available for wildlife.”
The Shire also carries out manual weed removal and has trialled high pressure steam and other methods which take significantly longer and have limitations in where they can be used.
Cr Lavell said given the amount of land managed by the Shire herbicides continued to be a necessary part of its weed control toolkit.
“Glyphosate in particular has been very well studied in terms of health and environmental effects because of its widespread use in agriculture,” he said.
“Although there are a range of herbicides available, glyphosate is considered one of the safest and is commonly used in household gardens.”
The glyphosate final regulatory position report is available on the AVPMA website at apvma.gov.au/node/13891.