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Greens motion calling for formal review of glyphosate defeated in Senate

Media Release
Janet Rice 15 Aug 2018

A Greens motion calling for a formal review into glyphosate to be conducted by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and calling on Monsanto to publicly release its scientific data has been defeated in the Senate. 

“I’m disappointed that Labor and the government rejected this motion, which comes in the wake of the court decision in the USA last week and has potentially huge health and legal liability ramifications here in Australia,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson.

“The US court finding is a massive wake up call for Australia. Glyphosate is used across the country in agriculture and weed control and applied by people who trust that it’s safe.”

“This court decision, on top of the listing of glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ by the World Health Organisation, makes it imperative that our chemicals regulator, the APVMA, should conduct a formal review immediately.”

“The community must be able to see the scientific data and evidence about the safety or otherwise of this product in light of the jury’s finding that Monsanto ‘acted with malice or oppression’ in relation to the potential danger posed by their glyphosate products.”

Motion:

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that the Senate –

  1. Notes: 
    a.  that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has listed glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’. 
    b.  that a California Superior Court jury has ordered Monsanto pay $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages to former groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson on the grounds that their glyphosate product Roundup contributed to his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    c.  that this follows an APVMA review of glyphosate following the IARC finding, which ‘found no grounds to place it under formal reconsideration.’
    d.  that glyphosate is still widely used in Australian agricultural, gardening, groundskeeping and land management environments.
     
  2. Calls on the Government to immediately direct the APVMA to conduct a formal review of glyphosate and order Monsanto (now Bayer AG) to make all internal scientific documentation relating to the carcinogenicity of glyphosate publically available. 
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