©2017 BY HILLS CONSERVATION NETWORK

inquiries@hillsconservationnetwork.org

PO Box 5426

Berkeley, CA 94705

HERBICIDES      Ending toxic chemical use on our lands

The majority of East Bay Hills (and SF Bay Area) residents oppose using poisons—pesticides, and the sub-categories herbicides and insecticides—on public lands. And with good reason.  They have been repeatedly demonstrated to be carcinogens and endocrine disrupters, toxic to plant life, and also harmful to gut bacteria of mammals—and humans.

Applying literally hundreds of gallons of these chemicals to hundreds, even thousands, of felled tree

stumpsand "weeds" (i.e., unwanted plants), over years, is necessary in "treatment" areas.  So the poisons

enter our interconnected environment.  Trees, plants, soil, rainwater, streams, lakes, hillsides, insects,

mammals, birds, raptors, dogs, children, and adults all comprise a web of life, as we all learn as children in

grade school.  Or by Rachel Carson's seminal 1962 book, "Silent Spring," that helped launch the modern

environmental movement over five decades years ago.  It's relevant to note that the chemical industry

attacked her book then, just as it attacks valid research today that threatens a highly profitable business.

Unfortunately, despite common sense, grade school teachings, university studies and hundreds of scientific tests demonstrating their toxicity, pesticides/herbicides are still legally, routinely used nation-wide and worldwide—and on Oakland and Berkeley public lands.  This, ultimately, is due to millions of multinational chemical company dollars.  For

decades they have lobbied aggressively with public relations and ad campaigns to convince—or corrupt with dollars—federal, state and city agencies—including regulatory agencies like the EPA—to allow the exponentially expanded use of these poisons.  Their campaigns protect literally billions of dollars in annual worldwide profits, as the tobacco industry has done.

                                                   READ LA Times story, "California lists Roundup ingredient as a chemical linked to cancer"

                                      

                                                   READ Reuters story, "Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence"

                                                   READ NY Times story, "Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety..."

 

Because of the tremendous harm they pose to the public, to wildlife, to groundwater, streams, lakes and our precious, dwindling forests, The Hills Conversation Network is opposed to their use, period.  Especially since their use is not even absolutely necessary, just convenient, profitable, and now habitual.

LITERATURE on pesticides/herbicides:

Each chapter of "The Myths of Safe Pesticides" dispels one of the many myths about the safety of pesticides, and by extension, the government regulators and corporate community evaluating them:

MYTH 1.  All agricultural poisons are rigorously tested. Actually, of the more than 88,000 chemical compounds unleashed on the world since the end of World War II, only a few hundred have been (inadequately) tested, only three have ever been banned, and none has been tested in combination with any of the others, inside the human body.

MYTH 2.  Very small amount. The old adage is the dose makes the poison. Actually, the body doesn't care about massive amounts. It's the tiniest parts per billion and even trillion that latch on to proteins, hormones and cells, block communications from the brain, disrupt the stability of the network, and create massive imbalances in cell growth (cancers) and the various "new" chronic diseases of the past 25 years. It's the tiny amounts that kill.

MYTH 3.  Modern pesticides rapidly degrade. Actually, residues concentrate the poisons. When toxic poisons biodegrade they can become oxons, 100 times more toxic than the original pesticide. Glyphosate (Monsanto's Roundup) at residue levels induces human breast cancer cells to multiply 8-13 times. It grows cancer.

MYTH 4.  Reliable Regulatory Authorities. Actually, they can be counted on for absolutely no protection whatsoever. See review of "Poison Spring" by E.G. Vallianatos, a 25-year veteran administrator at the EPA.

HCN SAVED OVER 100,000 TREES

& PREVENTED THOUSANDS OF GALLONS OF HERBICIDES BEING USED
 

Those who advocate cutting down trees and then using herbicides (like Dow Garlon) to kill the stumps often claim only “tiny” or “small" amounts of these toxic chemicals will be used, to calm public fear.  

 

But cutting down 100,000 trees (a conservative estimate of deforestation plans HCN has thwarted) and treating their stumps with an (also conservatively) estimated 3 oz. of herbicide per stump adds up to thousands of gallons of herbicides (if applied to manufacturer's specifications):

 

3 oz/stump twice/year for 5-10 years x 100,000 trees

= 6oz/year x 5-10 years = 30-60oz/tree

x 100,000 trees = 3-6 million oz. over 5-10 years.  

Divide by 128oz per gallon...

 

= 23,437.5 GALLONS OF HERBICIDE in 5 YEARS

or 46,875 GALLONS OF HERBICIDE in 10 YEARS

Even this massive (and conservative) estimate is not complete.  It only accounts for applications to tree stumps, NOT additional herbicide routinely sprayed on vegetation like hemlock, thistle, poison oak, broom and grasses that grow quickly where forests are cut down.  These smaller plants dry out in summer and autumn and are more easily ignitable than fog-capturing forests, dramatically increasing the chance of wildfire ignition and rapid, uncontrollable spread. Read why.