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Glyphosate deemed safe following scientific review

The farming community can breathe a sigh of relief with news that glyphosate - a critical input for Australian farming systems - has been deemed safe and not carcinogenic, despite some claims.

The independent scientific and evidence-based process has prevailed with both the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) concluding that glyphosate is not a carcinogen and does not pose a cancer risk to humans.

“Most significant is that the ECHA conclusion, that glyphosate should not be classified as a substance causing cancer, will form the basis of the decision when the European Commission and Member States consider whether to renew the approval to use glyphosate as an active substance in pesticides, later this year,” said Mr Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia.

“The impact on Australian farmers from an erroneous decision to ban glyphosate in Europe would be far reaching, seriously affecting international trade as well as competitiveness. That is why the conclusion by ECHA is so important to Australian farming.”

“In its final report on the matter, the APVMA have also concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk. Following an extensive assessment of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and other recent assessments, the APVMA has deemed that the scientific weight-of-evidence indicates that products containing glyphosate are safe to use as per the label instructions,” said Mr Cossey.

Farmer access to crop protection products directly underpins more than AUD$18 billion of Australia’s crop production
Matthew Cossey, CEO, Croplife Australia

“Australia is fortunate to have a highly-regarded, independent, scientifically competent and technically proficient regulator that continues to make decisions based on credible science and evidence, not on activist propaganda.”

The conclusions from both the ECHA and the APVMA are significant and further build on the numerous assessments of glyphosate by other regulators around the world including by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues, the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority. All concluded that glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

“Farmer access to crop protection products directly underpins more than AUD$18 billion of Australia’s crop production. Decisions that affect the livelihood of farmers, the ability to produce safe and nutritious food feed and fibre and economic performance of the nation should never be based on online myths or the latest activist campaigns,” Mr Cossey concluded.

For more information about both decisions visit the ECHA website and the APVMA website.

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