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Letter: Better research rather than fear, misinformation

To The Editor:

I find the reasons for the glyphosate ban being forwarded by the RDCK bothmisguided and misleading.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson stated in 2018 that reforested areas were being sprayed to kill back broadleaf species and give conifers a chance to establish themselves. He further stated that the Ministry is producing hardier conifers that compete better with other growth on their own. As a result the area sprayed is decreasing as these new varieties come on line.

The 12,000 acres of reforested area sprayed constitutes 0.0016% of the forest area in the province. Such a minor area of use to regrow clearcuts more quickly hardly justifies banning the product. Spraying glyphosate in reforesting clearcuts does not increase fire risk but neither does it diminish it.

Insofar as health concerns go Health Canada has deemed it safe if used as recommended. Further studies over a 10 year period involving 50,000 Americans have shown ‘no association between glyphosate and any solid tumours or lymphoid malignancies overall, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma and it’s subtypes’. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29136183)

Yet another studyas suggested would seem ludicrous and repetitive.

The primary reason for such a level of misinformation can be traced to the retracted and flawed Seralini Study which tried to show causation of tumours in rats due to glyphosate. The researcher’s work was deemed highly flawed and was retracted. The researcher had his credentials revoked as a result of the misleading research.

IARC’s move to classify glyphosate as a ‘possible’ carcinogen is a singular event that is not supported by any other agency in the world. A little research shows that the individual responsible for the new classification signed a lucrative contract with a group looking to start litigation for glyphosate harms while working for IARC. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreykabat/2017/10/23/iarcs-glyphosate-gate-scandal/#2544ffa71abd)

This glaring conflict of interest has created as much misinformation as has the flawed and retracted and flawed Seralini study.

The litigation in the US, awarding a non-Hodgkins Lymphoma sufferer a large settlement is a testament to the triumph of lawyer machinations and theatrics rather than the science that says this is incorrect. Based on appeals and science this award will very likely never be paid out.

A much as I the RDCK is trying to do their best for us this effort is misled by psuedo-science and fear mongering. Several cities, townships and municipalities have already been misled by Anti-GMO activists and Anti-vaxxers.

I advocate for decisions based on science and research rather than fear and misinformation. I truly hope the RDCK follows through on making science based decisions that are devoid of fear based and misleading facts.

Ryan Lengsfeld, Nelson BC