What a her­bi­cide ban would mean

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

AS GLYPHOSATE comes un­der in­tense scru­tiny in the Euro­pean Union (EU), Uni­ver­sity of New Eng­land (UNE) re­searchers are pon­der­ing the con­se­quences of a ban on the her­bi­cide in Aus­tralia.

The EU Com­mis­sion last week voted to re­new a five-year li­cence for the use of glyphosate in mem­ber coun­tries, but the re­newal was bit­terly dis­puted.

Op­po­nents of the her­bi­cide, which is the cen­tral tool of many farm­ing prac­tices, have vowed to search for al­ter­na­tives to en­sure the her­bi­cide is banned in the EU from 2021.

UNE pol­lu­tion spe­cial­ist as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor Su­san Wil­son and weed pro­fes­sor Brian Sin­del said as a re­sult of the EU’s scru­tiny, Australian author­i­ties may be forced to re­visit their ap­proval of the chem­i­cal.

“There will un­doubt­edly be more ques­tions raised about glyphosate use in Aus­tralia,” Dr Wil­son said.

The broad-spec­trum her­bi­cide is a pri­mary tool of agri­cul­ture in Aus­tralia and around the world, and mil­lions of litres are used ev­ery year in home gar­dens and by mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils.

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