Minister Weighs in on Glyphosate

Federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, says the science showed the popular farm pesticide could be used safely saying the weight of the objective scientific evidence shows when used in accordance with label instructions, glyphosate can be used safely.

Mr Littleproud’s comments follow reports this week questioned the findings of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, who regulates the use of chemicals including glyphosate, based on the organisations cost recovery model of funding.

The Minister says the independent authority has his total support.

“I back the APVMA. I am confident the APVMA is competent and independent. I have taken steps to further protect its independence by introducing legislation to have a skills-based board to protect the transparency and accountability of the APVMA and its function.”

MR Littleproud says he also supports the organisations funding model.

Ag chemical giant, Bayer, who this year merged with the maker of Roundup, has also backed the product saying the chemical had been used safely for four decades.

“The classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen places it in the same category as red meat and very hot beverages.”

“IARC is just one of four WHO agencies to have assessed glyphosate – the other three agencies found that glyphosate does not present a cancer or human health risk.”

“Since IARC made this assessment, regulatory authorities in the European Union, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States have reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”

“The extensive body of research on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides includes more than 800 rigorous registration studies required by regulators, which show these products are safe when used as directed.”

“Additionally, the largest and most recent study by the US National Cancer Institute which followed over 50,000 pesticide applicators in the U.S. found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer.”

Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon has however called for a Senate inquiry into the independence of regulatory decisions made by the APVMA.