In the wake of a US court ruling on glyphosate, it’s important to reiterate the definitive science which highlights the product as safe while being essential for Australia’s sustainable and renewable forest industries, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

Last Friday a Californian court found against a company which manufactures Roundup, in which glyphosate is an active ingredient, suggesting it could have contributed to the plaintiff’s cancer diagnosis.

“Friday’s US court ruling stands in stark contrast to the science around the responsible use of glyphosate, which has been found internationally and here in Australia, to be safe,” Mr Hampton said.

“The level of scrutiny glyphosate has been placed under is unprecedented and it has passed each time. It has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemical Agency, New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, all of which have concluded glyphosate is not a carcinogenic risk,” Mr Hampton said.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) “has concluded that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic risk to humans and that there are no grounds to place it under formal reconsideration”.

The APVMA position on glyphosate can be read here.

“The use of glyphosate is vital for successful forest management, especially at the time of planting as it enables seedlings to grow and turn into healthy thriving trees, helping to ensure the sustainability of our renewable forest industries,” Mr Hampton said.

“As with any chemical, it should be used responsibly and in accordance with the product labelling.

“While forest management is a relatively small user of chemicals, it is vital that continued access to important chemical options (such as glyphosate) is allowed. It is a worrying precedent when we start to see court rulings against established science,” Mr Hampton concluded.

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