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Chemical regulator welcomes submission by WWF into review of chemical regulation system

Date: 17 February 2010
Ref: 2010/03

Environmental group WWF today issued a media statement (external site) critical of the performance of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

That statement was issued in the context of a submission WWF has made to the current review of the agricultural and veterinary chemicals regulatory scheme in Australia being undertaken by the Product Safety and Integrity Committee (PSIC) (external site) of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (external site).

The review is the first time in almost a generation that the national system has been comprehensively reviewed. To prompt community input, PSIC developed a discussion paper and submissions from all interested parties (external site) were invited.

The APVMA welcomes WWF’s contribution to the PSIC review. It is important that the widest possible range of stakeholders contribute to this important review. Indeed, the APVMA has made its own submission on how it believes the system can be improved.

The concerns expressed by WWF about the APVMA in its media statement reflect current legislative arrangements.

Under these arrangements, for example, the APVMA can only deregister a chemical when it has credible scientific evidence of harm to human health, the environment or trade and when those risks cannot be mitigated through restrictions on use or other means.

The APVMA recognises that the current legislative framework may appear limiting to some groups. Equally, the APVMA is aware that other stakeholders are comforted by the certainty it provides.

The important point is that the regulatory framework is currently under review and stakeholder views are being actively considered through the PSIC process.


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