March 1, 2013
The Victorian Farmers Federation has demanded the Federal Government dump controversial legislation, which threatens to wipe hundreds of chemicals off the shelf. In the past 12 months, the VFF has lodged two submissions calling on the Federal Government to dump legislation from its Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill that demand all chemicals undergo mandatory re-registration every seven to 15 years. “This week the Coalition backed our call for change,” VFF vice president, David Jochinke said. “We’re relieved to see the dissenting report, which calls for the removal of mandatory re-registration. “As it stands the Bill will wipe hundreds of valuable and specialised chemicals from the Australian market. We’re a very small market for these large multinational companies and as a consequence, chemical companies just won’t bother re-registering ‘cause of the cost. “This bill spells trouble not only for farmers, but the wider agricultural industry, bringing with it additional costs and more regulatory burden,” VFF vice president, David Jochinke said. “Currently, agricultural and veterinary chemicals are only subject to re-registration when scientific evidence emerges of environmental and health concerns.” The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is already significantly under resourced, and struggling to meet the demands of an already clogged system. The VFF has warned the government mandatory re–registration will simply swamp the APVMA and delay the availability of vital agricultural chemical products used to manage pests, weeds and diseases. “If safe chemicals are de-registered simply because of market failure and the cost of re-registration, Australia’s agricultural productivity will suffer. We need to be arming our farmers with every available tool to meet the challenges of a growing world, not hindering them,” Mr Jochnike said.