National Farmers' Federation

Response to ABC Four Corners – glyphosate

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson said tonight’s ABC Four Corners’ titled ‘The Monsanto Papers’, placed disproportionate weight on unfounded ‘opinions’ when compared to that given to the established science.
“The scientific evidence on glyphosate’s safety is clear and overwhelming.
“Unfortunately, the opinions offered by a number of sources, did not draw on this evidence.”
The Liverpool Plains farmer said no other agricultural chemical compound had been tested to the extent that glyphosate had.
“More than 800 scientific studies and reviews, including numerous independent regulatory safety assessments, affirm that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer. ”
The chemical compound has been approved for use by every regulator across the world including the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) since 1974.
“Glyphosate has allowed farmers to embrace minimum tillage cropping systems – one of the greatest advancements in agricultural sustainability in recent decades,” Ms Simson said.
By managing weeds above the ground, farmers can plough their fields less often – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining soil health and soil moisture.
Glyphosate is also a critical tool in the control of noxious weeds, which cause enormous biodiversity loss if left unchecked.
“There is simply no alternative, that is as safe and as effective as glyphosate, for these purposes,” Ms Simson said.
A recent longitudinal study by the United States’ National Institute of Agriculture followed 57,000 farmers and registered applicators of glyphosate for more than 20 years. The study found no connection between cancer and glyphosate.
In 2016, the APVMA undertook a detailed, scientific assessment of the human health risks associated with the use of glyphosate and found no grounds for its approved uses to be reconsidered.
Ms Simson said Australian farmers produced some of the world’s safest and most sustainable food and fibre.
“The globe’s population is set to rise from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050.
“It is essential we trust the science and preserve safe, effective tools such as glyphosate, that protect our environment and allow us to grow the produce we need to feed an increasingly hungry world.”

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