The City of Launceston council says the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by its employees and contractors is guided by advice from the national regulator that the product is safe to use.
This follows the walk-off of more than 500 Blacktown council staff in NSW last week over its use of Roundup, which contains the chemical.
Made by chemical giant Monsanto, the product has been linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma across three separate court cases lost by the company in the past year. Monsanto's parent company, Bayer, has denied the link.
The Hobart City council recently trialed non-chemical weed control after calls from the Cancer Council last year for an independent or formal review into the chemical - one of the most widely used herbicides on the planet.
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"Like most Tasmanian councils, the City of Launceston uses weed control herbicides, some of which contain glyphosate," City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said. "Local councils and the state government are guided by the advice of the National Regulator - the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority - regarding the use of products containing glyphosate."
"Current APVMA advice is that products containing glyphosate do not cause cancer in humans and are safe to use, provided they are used in accordance with the label instructions."
In 2015, the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a Group 2A substance, "probably carcinogenic to humans". The consumption of red meat also falls under the category.
A 2018 US study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found "no association" between glyphosate and "any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies" related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or its subtypes. Though the study noted there was "some evidence of increased risk of AML [acute myeloid leukemia] among the highest exposed group that requires confirmation".
Mr Stretton said council employees and contractors engaged to undertake ground-based spraying activities were ChemCert trained, and undertake the work in accordance with relevant codes of practice.
"The City of Launceston maintains a 'Do Not Spray' register for anyone who does not want weed spraying conducted near their property," he said.
Local Government Association of Tasmania chief executive Katrena Stephenson said the organisation was aware of the issues that had been raised, and had been advised by both the state and federal governments that glyphosate was safe when used according to directions.
"Every time we receive new advice we provide it to councils," she said.
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