Isle of Wight council to continue using ‘Roundup’ weed killer

Despite a £289 million San Francisco court ruling which claimed the weedkiller Roundup ‘substantially’ contributed to a man’s terminal cancer, the Isle of Wight council will continue to use the chemical across the Island.


The Isle of Wight Council has confirmed it will continue to use glyphosate-based weedkillers, despite a landmark court case which linked the chemical to cancer.

On 11th August, chemical company Monsanto, which manufactures Roundup and other herbicide products, was ordered to pay former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson £289 million in damages after a jury in San Francisco said the chemical contributed ‘substantially’ to his terminal cancer.

Use of Roundup
Roundup, the commercial name of glyphosate-based herbicides, contains many other chemicals, which when mixed together are a thousand times more toxic than glyphosate on its own.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight council said,

“At present, the council currently use glyphosate-based weedkillers in our grounds maintenance contract, as do most ground contractors around the country.”

Not banned in the UK
The council said it had been advised the product was still safe to use and not banned in the UK. However, this is under review based on any potential future advice from the European Chemicals Agency ECHA.

The ECHA committee for risk assessment stated that herbicide glyphosate should not be classified as carcinogenic in the EU.

Lowthion: Weedkiller “damage to biodiversity, soil quality and environment”
Green party parliamentary candidate for the Isle of Wight, Vix Lowthion, urged the council to review the use of the chemical.

She said:

“I urge the IW Council and Island Roads to explore alternatives to the use of this toxic chemical on Island streets.

“Whilst it may be effective at killing weeds, it also does a good deal of damage to biodiversity, soil quality and the environment.

“France and Germany are already involved in the process of banning glyphosate. The Isle of Wight should take the lead — and look at taking glyphosate off our streets for good.”

She added Hammersmith and Fulham had been using a glyphosate-free foam with success for the last two years.

Court case appeal
Monsanto intends to appeal the ruling and continues to deny any link between glyphosate and cancer. It faces another 4,000 court cases across America.

In June, Monsanto was taken over by German firm Bayer.

In a statement, Bayer said:

“Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label.”

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: jeepersmedia under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

7 Comments on "Isle of Wight council to continue using ‘Roundup’ weed killer"

newest oldest most voted
Email updates?

The IWC should feel ashamed of itself. The Island has been recently designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and weedkiller, insecticides and fungicides which the World Health Organisation have long designated as carcinogenic or probably carcinogenic have no place in this beautiful island. More power to parish councils, like Cowes who have banned their indiscriminate use.


I just hope the Concil will take full responsibility if and WHEN someone finds they have a child or any family with this known toxin causing cancer and it’s proved it’s been caused by it. I think ANYONE using it, knowing how deadly it is to humans and all other living things, is totally irresponsible.


Can you show the evidence for your claim that glyphosphate causes cancer and is “deadly to humans”? If people wish to state things as ‘fact’ they should support that claim by showing the data which brought them to that conclusion.


The WHO have a list of all commercial chemicals being used and many of them including glysophate are stated as being carcinogenic or probably so. That is all the proof anyone needs.


No, “probably so” is not good enough, present the data. Data is key in discussions of this sort. There is these days too much damning of things based on poor or no evidence, it is called fake news.

The terminology used by the, WHO, was ‘probable’, which, in the scientific arena, is at the very least, an invite into to precautionary principle, however…this particular discussion is about the findings of a independent jury, throwing nondescripts around, like ‘fake news’ does nothing to alter their deliberations and reasoning, it is what it is now, but if you wish to refute these things then feel free to… Read more »

Idiocy. Do these people also put turpentine in their breakfast cereal?