Grow­ers de­fend her­bi­cide

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY - DAVID THOM­SON Grow­com CEO

A WORLD­WIDE de­bate over the po­ten­tial sta­tus of glyphosate as a pos­si­ble car­cino­gen has in­spired tes­ti­monies from Aus­tralian grow­ers in de­fence of the pop­u­lar her­bi­cide.

Fruit and veg­etable pro­duc­ers have been con­tact­ing MPs in their elec­torates to high­light the im­por­tance of glyphosate to their busi­nesses and the broader agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Cur­rently there are over 500 prod­ucts in the Aus­tralian mar­ket that con­tain glyphosate which are used across a wide range of agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries from broad­acre crop pro­duc­tion and sug­ar­cane pro­duc­tion to in­ten­sive hor­ti­cul­ture.

Grow­com sup­ports the find­ings of our na­tional reg­u­la­tor, the Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Vet­eri­nary Medicines Author­ity (APVMA), which has pro­nounced glyphosate is safe for hu­man, an­i­mal and en­vi­ron­men­tal health when used ac­cord­ing to its la­bel in­struc­tions.

De­spite clear and over­whelm­ing sci­en­tific ev­i­dence sup­port­ing its safe use, a re­cent court rul­ing in Amer­ica backed the State of Cal­i­for­nia’s push to list the SPEAK­ING OUT: Farm­ers are de­fend­ing the use of glyphosate, the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in Roundup.

❝Fruit

and veg­etable pro­duc­ers have been con­tact­ing MPs in their elec­torates to high­light the im­por­tance of glyphosate to their busi­nesses...

her­bi­cide, the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in weed killer Roundup, as a pos­si­ble cause of can­cer.

On April 19, a Cal­i­for­nian court of ap­peal ruled against chem­i­cal jug­ger­naut Mon­santo and en­forced the state’s pro­hi­bi­tion against dis­charg­ing it into pub­lic wa­ter­ways.

The de­ci­sion sparked in­tense dis­cus­sion among in­dus­try with most grow­ers

claim­ing glyphosate is an es­sen­tial part of their graz­ing and crop­ping op­er­a­tions to man­age nox­ious weeds.

Since the prod­uct’s launch 40 years ago, glyphosate has made it pos­si­ble for the Aus­tralian broad­acre crop­ping sec­tor to adopt con­ser­va­tion tillage and move away from cul­ti­va­tion to pre­pare the soil.

This means farm­ers do not dis­rupt the root sys­tem via tillage, there­fore min­imis­ing

soil dis­rup­tion and en­hanc­ing wa­ter use ef­fi­ciency.

It also means less ma­chin­ery op­er­a­tion, which re­duces emis­sions and is good for the en­vi­ron­ment.

Most Aus­tralian farm­ers stand by the prod­uct and claim they wouldn’t use it in a man­ner that they be­lieved would be harm­ful to their health.

In the past three years alone sci­ence-based reg­u­la­tors in the Euro­pean Union, South Korea, Ja­pan, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States have pub­licly reaf­firmed that glyphosate does not cause can­cer.

In ad­di­tion, the APVMA and Food Stan­dard Aus­tralia New Zealand (FSANZ) set sci­ence-based guide­lines to gov­ern crop Max­i­mum Residue Lim­its to en­sure the safety of con­sumers.

PHOTO: ZACH HOGG

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