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Local Representation Advisory Committee Leichhardt

2 August 2016

 

Item No:         LL0816 Item 4

Subject:         Chemical Risk Assessment of Glyphosate Pesticide  

File Ref:         16/6014/85250.16         

Prepared By: Richard Jarvis – Manager Parks and Assets, Leichhardt

Authorised By: Peter Gainsford - Director, Major Projects and Engineering  

 

SUMMARY

Glyphosate is used by Council to control weeds.  The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has reaffirmed its previous advice on the safe use of Glyphosate: “that products containing glyphosate are safe to use as per the label instructions”.

 

Last year a report issued by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.  A joint expert task force reviewed the information considered by the IARC and recommended that the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticides Residues (JMPR) undertake a full re-evaluation of glyphosate. 

 

In May 2016, the JMPR review concluded that while there was some evidence for a positive correlation between occupational glyphosate exposure and non-hodgkin lymphoma in some studies, the only well designed large cohort study found no association at any exposure level.

 

The JMPR further concluded that the overall weight-of-evidence indicates that glyphosate and glyphosate-based formulations are not genotoxic in mammals, even at high oral doses and is unlikely to be genotoxic to humans at likely levels of dietary exposure.

 

Finally, the JMPR concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT LRAC note the following recommendation:

 

That Council continue to use pesticide formulations containing glyphosate in accordance with the label instructions for weed control, and the Integrated Weed Management Strategy, and the notification and reporting in accordance with the Pesticide Notification Plan.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

Leichhardt Council resolved at its meeting on 23 February 2016

That Council defer any consideration of changing its currently adopted Integrated Weed Management Strategy until further advice is received from the APVMA (which is expected in May 2016) and a subsequent report to Council no later than June 2016. (C77/16)

 

Glyphosate is used by Council to control weeds.  The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has reaffirmed its previous advice on the safe use of Glyphosate: “that products containing glyphosate are safe to use as per the label instructions”.

 

Last year a report issued by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.  A joint expert task force reviewed the information considered by the IARC and recommended that the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticides Residues (JMPR) undertake a full re-evaluation of glyphosate. 

 

In May 2016, the JMPR review concluded that while there was some evidence for a positive correlation between occupational glyphosate exposure and non-hodgkin lymphoma in some studies, the only well designed large cohort study found no association at any exposure level.

 

The JMPR further concluded that the overall weight-of-evidence indicates that glyphosate and glyphosate-based formulations are not genotoxic in mammals, even at high oral doses and is unlikely to be genotoxic to humans at likely levels of dietary exposure.

 

Finally, the JMPR concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The advice from APVMA maintains the previously existing advice, thereby no financial implications arise.  Terminating the use of glyphosate would have significant cost and service implications for Inner West Council which have not been assessed for the new council.

 

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

In the former Leichhardt LGA the majority of weed control is undertaken by non-chemical methods, including steam, mechanical and manual weed removal.  Glyphosate is used where other methods cannot be applied, and for spot control of persistent weeds that resist the other treatments.

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

No public consultation has been undertaken with respect to the advice from APVMA.

 

 

CONCLUSION

As the APVMA advice re-affirms their previous advice regarding the safe use of glyphosate, then Council should continue to use pesticide formulations containing glyphosate in accordance with the label instructions for weed control, and the Integrated Weed Management Strategy, and the notification and reporting in accordance with the Pesticide Notification Plan.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.View

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Update