Farmers back science on chemical safety
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.”