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Senate inquiry into the APVMA marred by donations from vested interests to Labor and Liberal parties, say Greens

Media Release
Janet Rice 1 Feb 2019

The report of the Senate inquiry into the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has been marred by the revelations that vested interests including RoundUp patent holder Bayer and industry body CropLife have collectively donated $139,000 to the Labor, Liberal and National parties in the 2017-18 financial year, say the Australian Greens.

“Exactly a year ago Bayer made a $22,000 donation to the Labor party and today, the Labor-controlled committee for the APVMA inquiry report states they have confidence in the APVMA’s review of glyphosate,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson.

“The report calls the APVMA’s review of glyphosate ‘robust’, even though the agency decided not to conduct a formal reconsideration of the chemical despite the APVMA’s CEO agreeing that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.”

“The ad-hoc nature of our current regime for chemical review, as demonstrated by the approach of the APVMA to community concerns about glyphosate, is clearly not up to the task of keeping our community and environment safe."

“It’s also clear from the donations data released today that the independence of this Senate inquiry and indeed the APVMA is under a cloud.”

“We need donations reform right now, to ensure that big business can’t continue to shape outcomes at the expense of the best interests of the Australian people.”

“The Greens are calling on the Coalition government to immediately order an independent, transparent and science-based inquiry into glyphosate to give Australians certainty about its safety, and call on Bayer to release all internal science. We are also calling on the government to immediately introduce legislation to reinstate the APVMA re-approvaland re-registration scheme that was repealed in 2014.”

In the 2017-18 financial year, Bayer donated $40,600 to Labor and $42,540 to the Coalition, with CropLife donating $34,271 to Labor and $22,300 to the Coalition. Information can be found here.

The committee's final report, including the Greens dissenting report, can be found here.

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