A local farmer health organisation is backing Cancer Council Australia’s call for an independent review of the regulations governing the use of popular weedicide, glyphosate, because of cancer concerns.
Sue Brumby, the director of the Hamilton-based National Centre for Farmer Health, said more data was being released about glyphosate’s health risks and the position of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority that the weedicide was safe should be reviewed. Glyphosate is commonly sold under the Roundup brand name.
Dr Brumby said while glyphosate was often used by farmers, it was also used by urban gardeners who also needed to ensure they protected themselves against it appropriately.
She said people needed to rethink their attitude that glyphosate might be safe.
Cancer Council Australia's chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda said the International Agency for Research on Cancer had classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen after reviewing hundreds of studies.
Dr Aranda said there needed to be a systematic collection and review of data on exposure to glyphosate in Australia “so we have a clearer picture of the protections in place in the workplace.”
Professor Aranda said “there doesn’t appear to be a cancer risk to the general community through general use or through food consumption.”
She said the main cancer type associated with glyphosate use was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.