Greenrock: ‘Wider Impact On Our Ecosystem’

October 10, 2017

Following the Minister’s statement on importing restricted concentrated forms of glyphosate herbicide, environmental organisation Greenrock said while they are currently studying the statement, their “primary concern is that the studies completed by the Government to date only account for human health and have not looked at the wider impact on our ecosystems,” such as our honeybee populations.

Greenrock Bermuda TC Oct 9 2017

Licence To Import Restricted Concentrated Forms Of Glyphosate Herbicide

Speaking in the House on the overgrowth on our roadsides, Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, “One of the root causes of this current situation that has challenged the Ministry to control the growth of vegetation has been the banning of the use of herbicide.

“Following a directive from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in May 2015 which prohibited the importation of herbicide containing glyphosate meant that when the Highways section ran out of supplies there was no readily available alternative substance that could be used.

“This has meant that since 2015 – or in other words 2 years that no weed spraying has been carried out on the roadways and verges. As weed spraying is the first action to help prevent seeds germinating and growing – it should come as no surprise to anyone why the country looks the way it does.

“I am pleased to report that while maintaining the ban on concentrated glyphosate based herbicides, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will grant a license to the Ministry of Public Works to import restricted concentrated forms of glyphosate herbicide with the condition that an Integrated Vegetation Management [IVM] plan is completed prior to the issuing of that license.

“An integrated pest or in this case vegetation management programme [IVM] is a system that strategically utilizes mechanical, chemical, cultural and biological methods. The result is the most efficient control plan customized to local conditions; that minimizes negative impact to human health and the environment.

“There are also potentially significant cost savings to be had by implementing an IVM programme. The MPW has already implemented several elements of an IVM programme that will be further developed.

“Considerable research and monitoring has occurred both locally and internationally to support the use of Glyphosate Herbicide with certain conditions and monitoring and those conditions will be met.”

Greenrock’s Response

When asked for their views on this, Greenrock spokesperson told Bernews, “We are currently studying the statement from the Minister on this issue. We recognise that the proposal is not a wholesale lifting of the ban but for limited amounts and for Government use only.

“Our primary concern is that the studies completed by the Government to date only account for human health and have not looked at the wider impact on our ecosystems – our primary concern here is that of the impact on honeybee populations.

“Studies elsewhere have demonstrated that glyphosate interferes with the navigational ability of bees, adding yet another stress to the local honeybee population and possibly contributing to hive collapse. We will seek additional information concerning this statement, including the mentioned Integrated Vegatation Management plan.

“The honeybee population is crucial to local agriculture and provides a unique local product – Bermuda honey – which is of value to locals and visitors alike.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Louden Cleere says:

    This is unbelievable!

    Let me guess, next you will bring back smoking on airplanes??!!?

  2. Sara says:

    I swear every time Bermuda takes a step forward somebody manages to put us two steps back! When is Bermuda going to come into the modern world??? Poison is bad, we are only 22 square miles!!! Why don’t people understand this?

    • sage says:

      Not sure about the ban since I still see Roundup selling at the garden centers. The crew working on Trimingham Hill today is doing it the right way, no carcinogenic herbicides needed.

  3. Kathy says:

    One step forward, 10 steps back! Surely we can get the prisoners lining the roads picking weeds instead of resorting to environmentally damaging chemicals?

  4. Caveats Emptor says:

    Harvest weed… Don’t poison it.
    if you you plant hemp we can make our own rope, weeve baskets, shopping bags, hats etc… and… Well… there would be no shortage of people to help pull the weeds… scientists are great but Good Lord gave us marijuanna.