An environmental activist is plotting to remove a petition supporting glyphosate from popular campaign website 38 degrees.
Miles King, CEO of environmental charity People Need Nature, sent a tweet to 38 degrees asking when something was going to be done about ‘that petition defending glyphosate’.
Mr King went on to suggest 38 degrees’ claims to promote sustainability should prevent the petition from being hosted.
Professor of biology Dave Goulson, who has carried out research suggesting neonicotinoids poison farmland birds, also weighed into the debate, branding 38 degrees decision to host the petition ‘bizarre’. He later said he would contact the organisation.
Bizarre t.co/iDNXwcXSqC— Dave Goulson (@DaveGoulson)
@MilesKing10 I have emails for a couple of 38degree folk, will contact— Dave Goulson (@DaveGoulson)
Sean Sparling, who set up the petition, said: “Obviously everybody has got their own opinion. 38 degrees apparently is a website which promotes sustainability, which seems to be the sticking point.
“I would argue actually the petition I have put up is absolutely about the sustainability of modern agriculture, because without glyphosate it is not sustainable and agriculture will suffer catastrophically.
“I find it fascinating, amusing, disappointing and not entirely surprising this is the approach the anti-glyphosate lobby are taking. It just seems so disappointing to me that any voice other than their voice is not valid apparently.
“If it is taken down, it shows the malaise we have got into in this society where anybody who differs with one particular view cannot have their view heard. It would be incredibly disappointing, but if they do flag it and take it off, I will put it up on another petition website and we will have it again because it will not be taken away.”
Mr King told Farmers Guardian he ‘completely respected’ Mr Sparling’s position – despite believing some of the claims he made were ‘colourful’ – but he took issue with 38 degrees hosting the petition because of their commitment to preserving the planet.
“It is very clear for 38 degrees sustainability does not mean sustaining the agricultural sector or sustaining agro-industry businesses”, Mr King added.
“I have asked them what their position is and they have come back to me, but they have not given me any answers. They said they quite often host petitions from members of the public which contradict each other.
“There are 150-odd petitions calling for glyphosate to be banned and only one petition calling for it to be retained, but not only that, they actually run a pesticide-free towns campaign themselves.
“This is not a petition set up by a member of the public, this is a 38 degrees campaign calling for glyphosate to be banned in towns. I do not understand how they can run an environmental campaign to stop glyphosate being used in towns, but be happy for it to be used in the countryside. That does not make much sense to me.”