EPA extends its call for information on the use of glyphosate

Hard on the heels of news that recent surveys by scientists have found half or more of arable farms and vineyards in some regions have weeds resistant to commonly used herbicides, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has extended its call for information on the herbicide glyphosate by four weeks.

The new deadline to respond is now 5 pm on Friday 24 September.

General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Chris Hill, says the EPA wants to hear from more professional users and those involved in the supply of glyphosate.

“While we have had a good response from the public, we want to make sure importers, retailers, professional users and industry groups have had enough time to collate information and provide meaningful data. We have already received one request from a major industry group for an extension. The more information we receive the better informed we’ll be to decide what next steps to take.

“So far, professional users, industry organisations and suppliers have made up just over 40 percent of total respondents; the rest are members of the public. We have received 136 responses since we opened the call for information at the end of April.”

Glyphosate has been used as a weed killer by home gardeners, farmers, and councils in New Zealand since the 1970s.

Although it is commonly known as the active ingredient in Roundup, there are 89 mixtures containing glyphosate that are approved for use in this country.

The EPA monitors international developments and continually reviews global research on hazardous substances, including glyphosate, and we have no evidence that risks associated with using glyphosate, or its hazardous nature, have changed. However, we feel the time is right for us to take another look at this substance.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are reviewing the classification and approval of glyphosate, with their conclusions set to be released in mid-2022.

Issuing a call for information now will enable us to have a greater understanding of how glyphosate-containing products are being used in New Zealand by the time the EU findings are published, and ensure we’re better prepared to assess those findings.

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

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