Another year in Dover, and with it, more glyphosate.
Once again, contractors will be spraying herbicides along the curb lines of our downtown area streets, sidewalks and parking areas on or around the first week of June, July, August, and September.
The city recently informed Non Toxic Dover that, ‘With regard to curb side weed control, we will be continuing with the same vendor used in the prior year.’
Municipal Pest Management’s bid for option A was chosen in 2016, the products listed on the permit are as follows:
Roundup Promax (glyphosate)- EPA 524-579 MSDS
Rodeo Herbicide (glyphosate)- EPA# 62719-324 MSDS
Avenger Weedkiller (d-limonene) – EPA:82052-1 MSDS
The option chosen for 2017 is not listed on the public bid results. After inquiries to the city we have received this statement: “BioSafe is one of the products used by the contractor and their permit application indicates Round Up ProMAx, Rodeo Herbicide and Reward Herbicide for spot application, as needed.”
BioSafe is the maker of AXXE broad spectrum herbicide, an OMRI certified product. Had this been the only product being used this season it would have counted as a large improvement, however, with the other products in use it makes little difference. This is not an IPM option, nor is it an organic option. None of the bid submissions fit the true definition of IPM nor were they anything resembling organic. The bids were essentially all for option A. We are happy to see that another organic herbicide is being trailed, but testing out one each year on a couple of streets is much too slow a pace. A more efficient way would be to trial several different alternatives at once, and choose whichever work best. The neighboring city of Portsmouth has done this successfully. They tried multiple options and found two organic herbicides satisfactory for their needs.
Once again, a serious disappointment and not at all in line with the promises made in the Sustainable Dover initiative. As of this point in time, having had expert training sponsored by the non profit group Beyond Pesticides, we should expect more of the city than this. Public health and our environment should always be a priority when choosing how to maintain our streets and sidewalks as should the wishes of residents who have made it very clear they do not want to be exposed to the chemicals in these glyphosate based herbicides.
Glyphosate is recognized as a probable carcinogen and as being genotoxic – which means it causes damage to DNA that can lead to cancer. It is linked to numerous health effects along with its major metabolite (breakdown product) AMPA. Glyphosate is known to contaminate groundwater due to runoff and leaching like many other pesticides. Current science shows us that the whole formulations of the herbicide is far more toxic than the active ingredient alone, and there is no way to know what comprises the ‘inert’ ingredient portion of the formula. Are we to trust the manufacturer and the EPA who in recently unsealed court documents are shown to have colluded to hide safety issues with their flagship product? To learn more about glyphosate and Roundup, see It’s Raining Roundup…
Are you on the spray route? Here is the a list of streets that are usually sprayed, however residents whose streets were not on this list have spotted contractors spraying in the past, so please keep that in mind. Spraying has occurred late in the fall season as well.
Tell the city of Dover you want them to stop spending our tax dollars on toxic herbicides by signing our petition.