LOCAL governments that stop using a common herbicide used extensively in agriculture will set a dangerous precedent for others to follow, say The Nationals WA.
Party Leader Mia Davies said the City of Wanneroo’s recent decision to conduct a review into the use of glyphosate was alarming, misinformed and not supported by scientific findings.
“A 2016 review by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority concluded that exposure to glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic or genotoxic risk to humans,” Ms Davies said.
“Opponents point to an International Agency for Research on Cancer report, but don’t read the fine print.
“The report concludes that glyphosate poses as much danger to humans as eating red meat or drinking a beverage above 65 degrees Celsius – a lower temperature than a regular coffee is served at.”
Ms Davies said that glyphosate was an essential part of WA farming, and that any attempt to restrict its use would damage broadacre cropping, worth about $5-billion annually to the State’s economy.
The chemical allowed farmers to control weeds without the need to plough or till the soil, which maintained soil nutrients and reduced water loss through evaporation.
Ms Davies said that more than 800 scientific studies and independent assessments supported the view that glyphosate did not cause cancer or environmental harm.
Nationals local government spokesman Shane Love said that the City of Wanneroo had no authority as a herbicide regulator.
“They need to recognise that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has declared glyphosate safe for growers to use,” Mr Love said.
“It is of great concern that the city’s leaders are pushing this agenda.”