Glyphosate 'witch hunt' a "sad indictment" says Bayer's Julian Little

Bayer's Dr Julian Little has said recent campaigns to ban glyphosate, which have led to the EC Environment Committee recommending banning use in parks, gardens and through retail, as well as seven rather than 15 year extension of use make no sense.

Said Little: "It's a witch hunt on one of the safest and most environmentally friendly chemicals ever put together and is a sad endictment on the way the whole issue about the way we produce food and the lengths that they would like to see a massive increase in the price of food and much less food availability."

"What they are doing just doesn't make sense."

Little added that Bristol Council's use of vinegar instead of glyphosate is wrong, as is a retail ban: "Vinegar is toxic to bees. Is that where we think we are going? Taking an acid and spraying it on our plants? Is that where we want to be?

"In retail, it is one of the safest and most environmentally friendly products ever been allowed out there. Whatever would replace it would be worse."

Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said: "We need to reduce areas where weed control is necessary and encourage wildflowers and natural habitat, then where you do need to control plant growth in urban areas, steam or foam systems are very effective and some areas you will need to hand weed."

He claimed those methods could be cost effective: "If you have a reasonable area to cover a steam/foam system is quite cheap to run after capital costs."

He added the Soil Association was against councils using vinegar as a weed killer: "Vinegar is used in organic systems but I'm not sure it is suitable for large-scale use in urban areas compared to steam or foam."

A Greenpeace survey found German retailers are dropping glyphosate but in the UK only Waitrose has dropped glyphosate-based Roundup.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.

Pest & disease Factsheet - Whiteflies

Pest & disease Factsheet - Whiteflies

Whiteflies are sap-sucking insects that can be found in high numbers on protected crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chrysanthemum, fuchsia, abutilon and gerbera. They can also attack outdoor crops including brassicas.

Pest & disease Factsheet - Powdery mildew

Pest & disease Factsheet - Powdery mildew

Accurate identification is key to tackling this serious plant disease.