Eversource plans to spray herbicide in communities


Published: 6/28/2019 10:19:08 AM

Eversource plans to spray herbicide beneath the power lines in multiple Western Mass. towns starting, which was slated to begin June 26 and run through Dec. 31 with a product called Rodeo Concentrate, containing the active ingredient glyphosate. This is also the active ingredient in Roundup, which is still sold front and center at Home Depot, Lowe’s and most garden centers.

Glyphosate is a highly toxic chemical made by Monsanto Co. (which has recently been acquired by Bayer). Glyphosate-based products have already been banned in many European countries and many other countries are in the process of doing the same. The World Health Organization has deemed glyphosate a probable carcinogen. Last year, a jury in California ruled against Monsanto in a court case and ordered them to pay multiple millions to the plaintiff. They found reasonable evidence to support the plaintiff who developed Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after he worked as a groundskeeper regularly using Roundup.

Glyphosate is also very detrimental to our environment and ecosystem. It can easily get into the ground water and then into our streams, rivers and lakes. It is a broad spectrum herbicide killing all vegetation it contacts. The threat to the monarch butterfly is directly related to the use of these herbicides which are eradicating the milkweed plant throughout the U.S. Milkweed is the only food source for the early life stages of the Monarch. They cannot survive without it.

A scientific study that just came out showed U.S. honey bees had their worst Winter die- off in over a decade. A big factor is the use of glyphosate-based products such as Roundup. A study at the University of Texas Austin showed that bees exposed to glyphosate lose the beneficial bacteria in their guts which makes them more susceptible to disease and death.

I hope that we see the day soon when products such as Roundup are banned in the United States. It appalls me to see this readily sold in stores. I don’t think people realize just how toxic it is since you can buy it almost anywhere. Some folks will remember back in the sixties when Agent Orange was deemed perfectly safe to use, until we found out it wasn’t. That was also made by Monsanto.

There are alternatives to vegetation management such as using mechanical equipment. Some towns have opted to use goat herds to manage overgrowth. This kill-all approach using toxic herbicides is not the solution.

Please consider contacting the state Attorney General Maura Healey 413-784-1240, the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources 617-626-1700 and other local legislators to voice your opposition to Eversource’s use of this poison.

George Connell is a resident of Conway.

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