Gardeners beware: household chemicals banned overseas are still used in Australia


From tomato dust to snail pellets, Australia takes a much more relaxed approach to household pesticide use than other countries

When Kelvin McNickle discovered in his 30s he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he wondered whether it could be due to the Roundup he had used for more than a decade while clearing vegetation for councils.

Now living in Queensland, he has become the lead plaintiff in a major class action being brought by Maurice Blackburn in Australia against chemical giant, Monsanto.

Monsanto, which was taken over by Bayer in 2018, was the original maker of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and Zero, two of the most popular products used in agriculture and gardens in Australia.

More than 700 people have now signed up to the Australian class action, which mirrors similar legal challenges around the world. It is currently scheduled for hearing in 2023.

Concerns about glyphosate crystallised in 2015 after a review by the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

This prompted the EU to renew its approval for use for five years instead of 15 in 2017. It is now under review again.

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The Guardian, 02-10-22