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Ag and vet chemicals: minimising risk.

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BACK Home | Media Releases DAFF07/014SL- 27 March 2007

Ag and Vet Chemicals - Minimising risk

The Australian Government is working with manufacturers of agricultural and veterinary chemicals to reduce the regulatory burdens on farmers and other chemical users, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Sussan Ley, said today.

Officially opening the Croplife crop protection forum in Canberra, Ms Ley said Australia’s management of agricultural and veterinary chemicals is designed to minimise risk.

“Our management system has three aims,” she said.

“Firstly, it aims to give the Australian community and overseas customers confidence that they, and the environment, are protected from harm.

“Secondly, it aims to ensure that Australian farmers continue to have access to the products they need.

“And thirdly, it aims to encourage the development and adoption of lower-risk products, alternative pest controls, and farming methods that reduce reliance on chemicals.

“Crop chemicals and biotechnology make an important contribution to the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s agricultural industries.

“However they can also put human, animal and plant health, the environment, and trade at risk,” she said.

“For the Australian and international communities to continue to accept the use of crop chemicals in agriculture the bottom line is that they have to be confident that they are safe and effective when used properly - and that they are used properly.”

“To achieve greater consistency, the Commonwealth/State Product Safety and Integrity Committee is working on two risk-based priorities.

“These are a national accreditation scheme for restricted chemical product users, and a national regulatory scheme for the aerial-spraying industry.

Ms Ley challenged the industry to identify other areas requiring priority attention and work with the Committee to address them.

“Chemical companies and farmers both want nationally consistent control-of-use regulation, and they also want to keep products on the market.

“I suggest that the industry could work with Croplife, the National Farmers’ Federation, and sectoral organisations, to encourage greater participation in national Quality Assurance schemes and ensure that these schemes are effective in promoting compliance,” Ms Ley said.

Further media inquiries:

Ms Ley's office: Verity Williams 02 6277 4503 or 0428 213 264

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