Retail giant Bunnings has been singled out for selling herbicides that have been subject of a number of global bans and lawsuits.
Activist group SumofUs has released a parody Bunnings ad that calls out the firm for selling Roundup products that contain the active ingredient Glyphosate.
The ad, which borrows from the Bunnings advertising style of having staff comment on products, points out the controversy associated with Roundup products.
“When it comes to tidying up your garden, there’s nothing better than Roundup,” says the bearded actor appearing in the parody ad.
“It’ll get rid of your weeds, your roots, your garden bed, your pets, your neighbours’ kids, your kids, low-flying ducks, high-flying ducks and anyone from Jim’s Mowing.”
The parody obviously engages in a bit of hyperbole, but it’s designed to draw viewers’ attention to some of the major controversies associated with Roundup.
Earlier this year, Roundup-owner Bayer agreed to pay more than US$10 billion to end tens of thousands of lawsuits filed over the weed killer.
Many plaintiffs said Roundup’s active ingredient, Glyphosate, caused them to develop cancer.
Glyphosate has long been a key ingredient in many weed killers on the shelf.
The legal action has also resulted in government action; Germany, France, Vietnam and Belgium have all taken steps toward banning pesticides that contain the ingredient.
Numerous US states have also made moves to protect plant and animal life from the purported harm caused by the pesticide.
US retailer Costco has also voluntarily removed products containing glyphosate from its shelves in the United States and Australia.
Despite the global action, local retailers continue to sell products containing the ingredient.
While the parody ad singles out Bunnings, Roundup products can also be purchased at Mitre 10, Countdown, New World, Pak’nSave and nurseries nationwide.
New Zealand regulator the Environmental Protection Agency continues to deem the product to be safe.
Asked whether Bunnings would remove the product from its shelves, the company’s director of merchandising Phil Bishop told the Herald he understands there are a range of views on this subject.
“We are closely monitoring the global discussion on Glyphosate and we’re continually working with our team, the NZ EPA and our suppliers to help customers make an informed decision as to what option is right for them,” Bishop said.
He further pointed out that the company stocks a range of alternatives.
“We are actively looking for new and effective options for our customers who prefer non-Glyphosate products and we are proactively meeting with manufacturers in this area,” he said.
“We stock a range of alternatives including naturally-derived products such as Kiwicare Natural Power Weed Weapon, Nature’s Way Organic Weed Spray, Slasher Organic Weedkiller and Roundup Naturals amongst others.”
“We also actively promote the use of PPE which is available in our stores and as always, we strongly encourage users to follow directions listed on a product’s label and packaging.”
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