2,4-D in Australia


It is not banned in Australia. It is being sprayed right here in your community within spray drift distance of your child’s school, kindergarten and child care centre.

2,4-D has special notoriety because it was one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange.

When determining a ‘safe level’ the traditional assumption is that the degree of harm increases with the dose. This means that the more poison you receive, the more harm it will do. This is not true for 2,4-D a hormone disrupting chemical.  A very low dose may cause significant harm, a moderate dose may cause a lesser degree of harm and a large dose again my cause significant harm.

The chemical industry works hard to maintain the inertia of continued herbicide use and thus protect the status quo. The entire procedure works like a game, but the rules are written by the companies that manufacture herbicides. The winners sell more chemicals and the losers have much more at stake: cancer and neurodevelopment disease for example.

The onus is on public health advocates to prove that a product is harmful, this is backward the chemical companies should have to prove a product is safe before it hits the market.

In Canada 2,4-D is banned and was done so based on the “Precautionary Principle’.  That is, although it was not definitely proven that 2,4-D on lawns cause specific cancers in people, it was known that many pesticides are linked to health problems. The weight of evidence leaned in the favour of taking
preventive or precautionary action to protect human health and therefore support the ban. Citizens in communities of all shapes and sizes right across Canada overwhelming support pesticide bans. Better Safe than Sorry makes sense to a lot of peopleand loudly and clearly they are choosing the safety of their children over weed free lawns and paddocks.

Anything we can do to reduce risk of cancer by changing the things we can control, that aren’t necessary, that have no other clear health benefit, are things we should be advocating for.

Chemical companies tell us we need all the answers before they stop selling pesticides that have been linked to cancer in so many studies. But do we really want to take that chance for the sake of stomping out a few weeds.