According to Horizons Regional Council environmental manager, Grant Cooper, spraying with glyphosate in the Parapara hills of New Zealand, land that animals graze on and land that is very near water, is permitted with conditions. However, the practice used, “spray and pray” (named because it relies on rain to make seeds germinate), is not only dangerous for people but animals and the environment, as well.
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But according to Cooper the practice “is common, but not extensive, in hill country around the Whanganui, Whangaehu, Turakina and Rangitikei rivers…” and “less common in the upper Whanganui and Tararua.” 1 (Less common doesn’t mean it is dangerous.)
In the aforementioned method, glyphosate is first sprayed from the air to kill vegetation, then fertilizer and slug bait are applied, the area is then oversown with a feed crop like rape or turnips, and then it’s followed by a pasture species like plantain. Once that’s all done, the pasture is still considered safe for livestock to eat.
And remember: you are eating what they have eaten.
Thankfully the council is at least willing to learn more about the health effects of “spray and pray” (and hopefully glyphoste in general) and will consider imposing more restrictions to the practice if it’s shown to have “significant impacts” on things like water quality. We hope, as I’m sure many of their residents do, that the council will pay attention to the very real dangers of using glyphosate.
The research is available. The stories are plentiful. And the damage has already been done in so many parts of the world. Let’s hope the beauty of New Zealand can be preserved before it’s too late.