Twelve New Brunswick interest groups are calling on residents to aid in their efforts to stop the use of the herbicide glyphosate from being sprayed on Crown lands.
The Alliance to Stop Spraying NB consists of groups from throughout the province who oppose the use of the controversial herbicide.
In a media conference Tuesday morning they advised members of the public who see large scale spraying on Crown land to ask crews to leave the areas unaffected.
“We are encouraging citizens to view the herbicide spray maps for this 2017 season,” explained spokesperson Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy. “And politely ask the spray crews to leave when they arrive out of concern for plummeting deer numbers and other wildlife as well as potential effects on their family’s health.”
Stop Spraying says companies such as J.D. Irving and NB Power will soon begin spraying as part of their annual “vegetation management” programs.
Those involved with the alliance say a sharp decline in wildlife has been seen during the time glyphosate has been used throughout the province.
“The local store used to register over 200 deer, but now if they get 20 that’s a good year,” explained Kevin Shaw of the Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation.
In a statement the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government said, “While we understand that there are some concerns about the safety of the use of glyphosate, the Government of New Brunswick continues to rely on the expert evaluation and decisions from Health Canada to make decisions based on facts and scientific data.”
The department also indicated that a report was completed under the Department of Health which showed the application of glyphosate at recommended levels doesn’t present an increased risk to human health.
The alliance disputes the study saying that a look into long-term health effects hasn’t been completed and that the government should err on the side of caution.
“If you’re not sure that this is safe, why continue?” Lubbe-D’Arcy said during the conference. “That is not exercising the precautionary principle.”
Ecovie, another alliance member group, plans to camp at Mount Carleton over the long weekend to distribute pamphlets about glyphosate use and educate park users of the alternatives to spraying.