A story on glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weed killer RoundUp and other herbicide products, aired on Monday 8 October 2018 on ABC’s 4 Corners.

This story centres on a court case in September this year, where a Californian jury found in favour of a plaintiff who alleged exposure to RoundUp had resulted in terminal non-Hodgkinson Lymphoma.

The scientific evidence supporting glyphosate’s safety is clear and overwhelming.

In the past 3 years alone regulatory authorities in the European Union, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States have publicly reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

Glyphosate, like every pesticide approved for use in Australia, has been subject to the rigorous approval process of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

The APVMA undertook a detailed, scientific assessment of the human health risks associated with the use of glyphosate as recently as 2016 and found no grounds for its approved uses to be reconsidered. The APVMA is globally recognised, world class, science and evidence-based regulator.

More than 800 scientific studies and reviews, including numerous independent regulatory safety assessments, support the fact that glyphosate is safe.

Glyphosate is vital to modern day farming systems. Without it we couldn’t farm as environmentally sustainably as we do now – in terms of maintaining soil health, water use efficiency and controlling noxious weeds.

Glyphosate is widely used by farmers, gardeners and other land managers. When applied, glyphosate prevents weeds from making the proteins they need to grow. It allows farmers to control weeds from above the ground – substantially reducing the need to plough or till the soil. Reducing tillage maintains soil nutrients and improves water use efficiency. Healthier soils mean higher yielding crops – a win for farmers and the environment.

Less tillage also means less machinery – lowering fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Australian farmers are renowned across the world for producing high quality, safe, sustainable produce. It is a role the industry takes very seriously. Farmers care about their own health and that of their families, farm workers, communities and consumers.

Currently, there is no comparable chemical control that is as effective or as safe as glyphosate.

The Australian Farmers website has provided industry with information on glyphosate, including what it is, why it is important and the science behind it. To visit the webpage please click here.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 09 October 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!