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Greens back strong regime for Ag-Vet chemical assessments

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 17 Jun 2014

The Australian Greens have tabled a dissenting report as part of the Senate Inquiry into the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Amendment (Removing Re-approval and Re-registration) Bill 2014, recommending that the Senate not pass the legislation.

"The APVMA has only just gained the power to review and quickly remove highly hazardous and unmanageable pesticides from the market if they fail to meet today's scientific and regulatory standards," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"This Bill would unwind this newly implemented re-registration scheme and take us back to the flawed position of assuming a pesticide is ‘innocent' of any negative impacts until proven otherwise.

"Rather than opening the door for safer, greener pesticides, this approach will only benefit chemical corporations, while people and the environment suffer.

"Australia needs a systematic approach to reviewing previously untested chemicals and removing those that don't meet modern standards from the market. A re-registration scheme remains the most rigorous, cost-effective and efficient approach to achieving that outcome.

"It is extremely disappointing that these important and long overdue amendments due to come into effect in July are being unwound.

"The APVMA has a poor track record in its chemical review program with many high risk pesticides under review for 10-15 years without adequate action being taken to mitigate risks, or indeed remove pesticides from use that are clearly just too dangerous.

"The Greens support retaining the re-registration program, but in the event it is abolished, we have developed a crucial set of criteria that will ensure high priority pesticides are identified quickly and then re-assessed.

"Without maintaining a strong approach to assessments, Australia will continue to lag behind other nations and will continue putting farmers, consumers, environment and trade at risk," Senator Siewert concluded.


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