28 June 2017 (Canberra) – CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector in Australia, notes the statement by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) on strengthening the voluntary recall process.

CropLife, as the organisation that represents the best of the plant science industry, and our members are always happy to see an improved, more effective and more efficient regulatory system and we are committed to working with the APVMA to ensure a world’s best-practice agricultural chemical regulator. We commend the APVMA seeking to improve the regulatory system as it pertains to product withdrawals and recalls, something CropLife and our members have shown a long-standing commitment to.

What is important in genuinely improving any regulatory system is that it starts from a position of evidence, not misleading, factually incorrect and sensationalised media reports. Much of the recent commentary around these issues has shown a concerning level of ignorance around the details.

Australian farmers and all crop protection product users are already served very well by companies who proactively, and at great expense, go to extraordinary effort to not just notify the supply chain, but also to have product removed from point of sale as part of their current procedures just for a voluntary withdrawal of a product. It is important to note that the voluntary withdrawal mechanism is only used when a product does not meet certain detailed chemical specifications of its registration but does not pose any health or safety issue. The system already allows for more robust and significant measures and actions when circumstance warrants.

In introducing any changes, it is important to protect the existing proactive notification and removal system that is part of the voluntary withdrawal process and media reports that suggest a website page is a better notification system shows a clear misunderstanding of effective withdrawal and recall systems.

Statement by Mr Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia

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