New guide released to inform about the importance of pesticides

    25 May 2021

    CropLife Australia has released The official Australian reference guide for organic, synthetic and biological pesticides to ensure better informed and fact-based discussions about the regulation and essential role of pesticides in agriculture, environmental management and human health.

    Industry and farmer group representatives and academics were joined by several Parliamentarians for the launch on 18 March at an event at Parliament House as part of Science meets Parliament.

    Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, officially launched the Guide. CEO of Science and Technology Australia, Misha Schubert, also addressed attendees on the importance of effectively communicating science.

    CEO of CropLife Australia, Matthew Cossey, also spoke at the event on the importance of the community having a better understanding of the crucial importance of pesticides and on farming more broadly.

    Mr Cossey said, “The innovations of the plant science industry were at the centre of the Third Agricultural Revolution and it will again be the innovations of the plant science industry that will be at the core of the fourth agricultural Revolution.

    That is what Australia needs to achieve another leap in production and enable farming to become even more environmentally sustainable. Access to new modern pesticides is crucial for Australia to meet its food production goals and aspirations, protect the natural environment from invasive species and safeguard human health from disease-spreading pests and harmful crop and produce funguses.”

    In Australia, like the rest of the developed world, food has never been safer and never has there been such variety of produce available to consumers. Mr Cossey said now more than ever, there is peak interest in food amongst growing urban populations, however, it is correlating with a peak in ignorance of how food is produced and farming generally.

    “The world needs to produce as much food over the next 50 years as we have since the beginning of humanity, more than 30,000 years ago.

    That is a staggering challenge requiring a massive effort from the entire agricultural sector. Farmers will need access to all and every safe tool, product and innovation to do it, especially pesticides – be they organic, synthetic, or biologically based.”

    The Guide has been compiled using information and data from leading specialists here in Australia and around the world, with contributions and analysis from expert technical committees.

    Matthew Cossey concluded by saying, “Better informed and factbased discussion and public policy development are crucial for Australia to meet its food production goals. This Guide seeks to constructively contribute to that outcome. We need the broader community to have a better understanding of modern farming so they recognise what is great about it and don’t seek to dictate certain outcomes from a position of ignorance, that may indeed work against what the community actually wants from farming.”

    The official Australian reference guide for organic, synthetic and biological pesticides will help consumers understand the essential role pesticides play in not only agriculture but also in environmental conservation and human health.