100 signatures reached
To: Lewes District Council
Make Lewes District pesticide-free
Stop spraying all toxic pesticides in Lewes District streets, parks, schools, and public spaces.
Why is this important?
There is clear evidence that pesticides (such as the herbicide glyphosate) used for pest and weed control across Lewes District are causing declines in biodiversity and are harmful to human health, especially children. Our children need to be able to play safely in the parks of Lewes face down on the ground without fear of exposure to glyphosate and other potentially harmful chemicals.
But it is not just children. Everybody who lives, works, plays, visits, or walks their dog anywhere in this beautiful district should have the right to enjoy the area without the fear of coming into contact with unnecessary, toxic chemicals.
Glyphosate alone is linked to cancers, infertility, birth defects, and neurological disease. The World Health Organisation has publicly stated that glyphosate ‘probably’ causes cancer. However there are 40 different types of pesticide that can be and are used in and around towns and cities in the UK. Progressive cities such as Paris, Toronto - and recently Brighton - have already voted to end the use of toxic chemicals in all public spaces. If they can do it, so can Lewes District!
Effective alternatives for weed control already exist which are not harmful to people, pets, or the environment. Furthermore, the use of non-toxic alternatives will encourage greater local biodiversity - and give us all the pleasure of seeing more bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering, and birds singing! The increase in pesticide use since the 1970s has seen farmland bird populations decline by over 50% and catastrophic declines for insects such as several butterfly and bumblebee species (of up to 70% for some species). The loss of bumblebees and other pollinators has knock-on effects for growing food, as 75% of crops are pollinated by wild insects.
So why risk the health of our children, ourselves, and the environment when there is another way? Let us employ non harmful ways of dealing with – or living with- those things that toxic chemicals are used to kill. These products are already available. We can start this process in our local district, and in Lewes.
PS - Get informed! Read up on this issue by visiting the Pesticide-Free Towns campaign page on the Pesticide Action Network website.
How it will be delivered
We plan to present this petition to Lewes District Council at their meeting on 7th December, 2016, when we can also make a five minute presentation explaining why this is so important.