Farm­ers back sci­ence on chem­i­cal safety

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

NSW Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion is con­cerned by re­cent in­ter­na­tional de­ci­sions about the pre­sumed safety of glyphosate.

Agri­cul­tural Sci­ence com­mit­tee chair David Mailler said that glyphosate is an essen­tial tool for farm­ers in NSW, and has been found safe to use by the Aus­tralian Pes­ti­cides and Ve­teri­nary Medicines Au­thor­ity (APVMA).

“In the last week, we’ve seen a fed­eral Brazil­ian judge ban the use of glyphosate, and a Cal­i­for­nian jury ruled that a groundskeeper’s cancer had been caused by Roundup. This is de­spite as­sur­ances from the reg­u­la­tory bod­ies in those coun­tries that deem the prod­uct as safe to use.”

Mr Mailler said that it was im­por­tant for de­ci­sions on the reg­u­la­tion of glyphosate in Aus­tralia to be based on the best avail­able sci­en­tific ev­i­dence. NSW Farm­ers and in­dus­try is in reg­u­lar con­tact with the APVMA on this and other is­sues, and is care­fully watch­ing in­ter­na­tional de­ci­sions on chem­i­cal safety.

“NSW Farm­ers con­tin­ues to sup­port the avail­abil­ity and use of glyphosate, as per la­bel in­struc­tions, as an im­por­tant tool for farm pro­duc­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity,” Mr Mailler said.

“Reg­u­la­tory bod­ies in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the US, the EU and Canada have all con­cluded that glyphosate was un­likely to cause cancer in hu­mans.”

“Our com­mu­nity and our farm­ers should be able to rely on the peer-re­viewed sci­ence that has come to the same con­clu­sion: that glyphosate is safe to use as per the in­struc­tions on the prod­uct la­bel.”

Mr Mailler said that on-la­bel use of glyphosate helped to re­duce the cost of pro­duc­tion and in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and yield, as well as de­liv­er­ing con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits on-farm.

“Ac­cess to glyphosate is cur­rently im­por­tant in al­low­ing farm­ers to carry out no-till agri­cul­tural prac­tices, lim­it­ing soil dis­tur­bance and re­duc­ing the re­lease of car­bon from soil.”

“Us­ing or not us­ing glyphosate is a com­mer­cial de­ci­sion for each farmer,” Mr Mailler con­cluded. “As long as agri­cul­tural chem­i­cals are de­ter­mined safe to use by our ex­pert reg­u­la­tory sci­en­tists, Aus­tralian farm­ers should con­tinue to feel con­fi­dent in the sci­ence and con­tinue to have ac­cess to these im­por­tant tools.”

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