A COMMUNITY leader in Wrexham has called for glyphosate-based weedkillers which have been linked to cases of cancer to be banned in Wales.

Councillor Ronnie Prince has lobbied Wrexham Council to end its use of products such as Roundup for more than a year after he witnessed it being sprayed on grass verges in Caia Park.

Successful legal action has been taken against German pharmaceutical giants Bayer as recently as this week following its takeover of the herbicide’s producer Monsanto.

On Tuesday a United States jury awarded a couple who said Roundup was responsible for their cancer more than $2bn (£1.5bn) in damages.

A scientific study published earlier this year also found that people with high exposures to some popular pesticides have a 41 per cent increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cllr Prince (Ind) has now taken his fight to the Welsh Government and demanded a moratorium on the use of weedkillers containing glyphosate until their safety is proven.

He said: “In light of the continued controversy of a common weedkiller being linked to cancer in humans, wouldn’t it be prudent of the Welsh Government to err on the side of caution over the safety of our citizens and instigate a moratorium over its use until its proven safe or otherwise?

“I’ve previously asked Wrexham Council to have a moratorium over the use of this product.

“The council stated that the Welsh Government policy was that this weedkiller is safe to use.

“I was informed that this guidance was sent out to all 22 local authorities.

“After seeing continued headlines saying ‘Common weedkiller glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41 per cent study says’ and ‘US jury awarded $2bn damages in Roundup weedkiller cancer claim’, people are really shocked and concerned to have this weedkiller sprayed around their communities and understandably so.”

Wrexham Council is one of a number of local authorities in Wales which uses a herbicide containing glyphosate to tackle weeds.

While it has resisted Cllr Prince’s calls for an outright ban in the past, the council has sought to limit the amount sprayed, particularly in areas around playgrounds and schools.

Extra training has also been given to staff in the build up to the summer to protect people’s health.

But a Welsh Government spokesperson said there was no evidence to support a moratorium.

“All pesticide products available in the UK have to meet strict regulatory standards to ensure they do not pose a threat to human or animal health and the environment,” the spokesperson said.

“At the end of 2017 the EU re-approved the continuing use of glyphosate for a period of five years, until 2022.

“Reviews of the scientific data by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency have found no safety concerns that would prevent continuing approval.”