Glyphosate has been back in the spotlight recently due to a court case in the US against the manufacturers of Roundup and a report that a case is likely to be lodged in Australia.
When it is suggested that a product may cause cancer, people are understandably concerned. But when it comes to glyphosate, there is a huge body of scientific evidence (more than 800 studies and reviews) that unambiguously demonstrates that glyphosate is safe for use.
Every science-based regulator around the world has approved glyphosate as safe for human, animal and environmental health when used according to label instructions.
In the past three years alone, regulatory authorities in the Europe Union, South Korea, Japan, Australia, NZ, Canada and the US have publicly reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.
Ensuring that scientific evidence wins over fear is incredibly important. To lose glyphosate from the farming toolbox would be disastrous.
With community interest in glyphosate growing as a result of the media coverage, now is the time for us, as farmers, to engage with the community about the science and safety of this product.
It is important to remind consumers that farmers take agricultural chemical stewardship very seriously.
This means we mix and apply the product according to the label, we wear safety equipment such as gloves, and are always checking the weather conditions, particularly wind, during application.
Ultimately, we must place our trust in the overwhelming, extensive scientific evidence.
Farmers, as one of the frontline users of these products, must take the time to discuss with our non-farming friends, families, customers and community why we use glyphosate and why we have confidence in the decades of science.
- David Jochinke, VFF president