APVMA shows improvement, but more needed

    28 October 2011

    CropLife Australia welcomes the release of the APVMA’s Annual Report in what is a critical year for the regulator and the plant science industry. While the Report does indicate some improvements in APVMA efficiency, CropLife welcomes recognition that greater improvements in performance are needed. Improvements are critical for Australia’s plant science industry to remain one of the world’s best and to encourage further investment by agchem companies in support of Australian agriculture.

    CropLife Australia CEO, Matthew Cossey, said “The APVMA Annual Report shows performance has improved in some areas but there is still a long way to go. Unnecessary costs and delays in the system negatively contribute to the performance of the regulator and threaten the viability of a dynamic, innovative and value for money plant science industry.

    “Improving the performance and efficiency of the agchem registration system is also important if Australia’s farming sector is to have access to the latest crop protection technologies.

    “CropLife remains disappointed that APVMA performance regarding more complex registration applications, such as applications for new active constituents, remains unacceptably poor. The Annual Report confirms that only 17% of new active constituents were approved within the required legislative timeframe.

    “Australian farmers are the ones who suffer the most from unnecessary delays and costs in the system with inefficiencies slowing the introduction of innovative new agricultural chemical tools and adding to product prices.

    “CropLife remains concerned that risks from the importation and sale of illegal unregistered products by illegitimate overseas operations are not being adequately addressed by the APVMA.

    “The failure to quickly and effectively respond to these kinds of threats by the APVMA undermines the entire regulatory system.

    “These efficiency and performance issues need to be addressed through the Governments current process for the ‘Better Regulation of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals’. That process must deliver genuine reforms that improve the efficiency of the APVMA’s regulatory process.

    “Greater efficiency and better APVMA performance can drive the innovation and investment from agchem companies necessary for improvements in agricultural productivity.

    “CropLife continues to work with the APVMA on these priority issues. We seek to ensure that Australia’s regulatory scheme can provide innovative companies with the framework necessary to continue to provide newer, better targeted and more sustainable products for farmers ensuring that risks to users, consumers and the environment are acceptable”, Mr Cossey stated.