Australia is often reputed as having one of the most effective regulatory systems in the world for ensuring the safe use of chemicals. But it recently came to our attention that a regional government body in the state of Queensland has decided to develop its own endocrine-disrupting herbicide solution, which it is now spraying across large swaths of the area’s coastal region to target an invasive weed species, that is also poisoning plants, animals and potentially even humans.
The government body is known as the Sunshine Coast Regional Council (SCRC), and the chemical product in question is known as “Gloricide.” According to an insider tip, local officials from SCRC developed the solution several years ago without consulting an official chemical engineer, and without compiling a valid Material Data Safety Sheet (MDSS) in accordance with federal laws. The council also failed to gain a permit for the solution’s use, which technically makes it illegal.
Gloricide reportedly contains a dangerous mixture of both metsulfuron methyl, a highly-toxic herbicide, and 2,4-D, a major toxic component of “Agent Orange” that the Dow Chemical Company is currently trying to deregulate for use on genetically-modified (GM) corn (http://www.naturalnews.com). Together, these two chemicals are supposed to target an invasive weed species known as gloriosa lily, but they also mimic estrogen and have the capacity to disrupt hormone balance in humans.
Gloricide has never been properly safety tested, it turns out, and many say it does not even work at eliminating the gloriosa lily, an estimate that happens to be backed by science. And yet, at the same time, Gloricide is needlessly putting numerous desired plant and animal species at risk, including endangered species like the chemical-sensitive acid frog, which resides all along Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
“Gloricide is very dangerous to the health of all animals, especially frogs that absorb the chemical through their skin,” explains a petition trying to ban the use of the unapproved chemical. “The council has created this toxic chemical cocktail without testing it and is using it without care or caution. We are breathing in this toxic chemical when we go to the park and swimming in it when it leaches out through the dunes into the ocean.”
Former environmental director fired for refusing to poison Australia’s wetlands
Back in 2011, the director of an environmental company contracted by SCRC to apply Gloricide was fired for refusing to spray it throughout Australia’s sensitive dune network. Adam Presnell, former director of ATP Environmental, told the media at the time that Gloricide was being used “widely and indiscriminately,” and that the chemical solution creates a “massively high risk to life and the environment.”
“There is a highly risky culture emerging in council and in the bush regeneration industry, and is starting to closely resemble chemical cowboys — kill it with chemicals any way you can, ask questions later,” explained Presnell to reporters, noting that the chemicals used in Gloricide are especially toxic to aquatic animals.
As far as we can tell, Gloricide is still being used in the Sunshine Coast without approval, and the national government of Australia is doing little, if anything, to stop it. Various state and federal government bodies claim that the issue is outside their jurisdiction, which means SCRC is free to continue haphazardly using the toxic chemical blend without penalty.