Response to Four Corners' story on Glyphosate

8 October 2018

Media Statement

The Four Corners episode that aired 8 October 2018 has questioned the safety of glyphosate products registered for use in Australia following a decision in the Californian Superior Court to award damages to a man who alleged that glyphosate-based weed-killers caused his cancer.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) considered the evidence presented in the Californian case and found no grounds to take regulatory action in Australia.

The APVMA understands that the public may have concern regarding glyphosate. There is a lot of information out there, and discussion in the media does not always get the facts or the science right.

Australia’s risk-based, scientific approach to regulation ensures that each agricultural chemical product is thoroughly and independently assessed by the APVMA prior to registration and supply. 

The registration system is supported by a range of post market surveillance, compliance, audit verification and review activities that ensure products available in Australia continue to be used safely and effectively.

The APVMA’s regulatory decisions take account of extensive scientific information and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report 2015 provided a valuable input to our ongoing assessment of the risks associated with glyphosate.

The APVMA considered the IARC report in 2016, along with an examination of many other scientific trials and studies, and like other regulators, the APVMA determined that glyphosate is safe to use according to label directions.

The manner in which the APVMA is funded bears no influence on our independent regulatory activities that continue to protect the health of Australia’s people, our agricultural industry, farmers, the environment and animals.

Our regulatory history demonstrates that we hold industry to account and take action when a risk is identified.

In the past 12 months, the APVMA has acted to change label directions for 2,4-D, fined manufacturers when products did not meet specification and suspended registrations where products no longer met safety requirements.

Australian’s can have confidence in the decisions of the APVMA and that our regulation will continue to protect the health and safety of people, animals and the environment.

Information relating to the APVMA’s examination of glyphosate is available online.

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