Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Too many unknowns exist to persist in herbicide use

CapeCodonline  June 21, 2011
I urge readers to sign the GreenCAPE petition against herbicidal spraying, at

Our sole-source aquifer is at risk of contamination. People are talking about herbicides, from Provincetown to Sandwich. 

Indeed, two of the five toxic chemicals NStar intends to spray under the power lines have been in the news recently. The first is glyphosate. Consumers know this chemical as Roundup, a powerful weed killer. 

According to a report by Earth Open Source, Monsanto and industry regulators have known for decades that glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals.

The second herbicide is imazapyr, which the National Seashore plans to use on a Truro cranberry bog. This chemical kills reeds, known as phragmites. The Seashore also intends to apply imazapyr at Herring Pond, in Wellfleet, this fall. One study found imazapyr in groundwater eight years after its application.

At a time when herbicide use across the country has come under intense scrutiny, it seems crazy to persist in using herbicides. Scientists are connecting the dots and realizing toxic chemicals can lead to autism, ADHD and other diseases.

Since traces of these herbicides will end up in our drinking water, I urge those responsible at both NStar and the National Seashore to seek safer options.

Alexandra Grabbe