Recently there has been increased media coverage in Western Australia and nationally concerning the use and safety of products containing the active ingredient glyphosate.
Claim Against Bayer in NSW by Farmer
Ross Wild, a New South Wales farmer aged 67, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mr Wild claims that long-term exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, has caused him to suffer this illness.
Monsanto manufactures the product known as “Roundup”. Monsanto is owned by pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer. Mr Wild has commenced legal proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court to claim damages against Bayer.
Mr Wild has used Roundup on his farming property in Moama, New South Wales since its introduction in Australia in 1976. Mr Wild’s lawyer said the Roundup bottles did not provide adequate warnings of the dangers of using the product. He also said that Mr Wild’s clothes and body had been “drenched” in the herbicide over a 40-year period of use of Roundup.
Mr Wild is claiming damages against Bayer for failing to provide proper warnings on the dangers of using Roundup, as well as compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income and medical expenses.
The claim comes after a string of successful lawsuits against Monsanto in the U.S., where juries have been willing to accept that the weed killer is directly responsible for causing cancer.
In Australia, a successful claim will need to persuade a Court that glyphosate is responsible for causing cancer and that Monsanto is ultimately liable. To date no Australian Court has found Monsanto or Bayer to be liable for any damage, loss or injury arising from the use of products containing glyphosate.
The APVMA’s Position
In 2016, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) considered glyphosate and found no grounds to place it under formal reconsideration again.
The APVMA has released the following statement in relation to Glyphosate:
“APVMA is aware of recent international decisions concerning glyphosate.
Products containing glyphosate are registered for use in Australia, and APVMA approved products containing glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to label directions. Australian law requires appropriate warnings on product labels, which include relevant poisons scheduling, first aid, and safety directions detailing personal protective equipment when handling and using products containing glyphosate. The APVMA reminds users of the importance of following all label instructions.
As the national regulator for agricultural chemicals, we continue to track and consider any new scientific information associated with safety and effectiveness of glyphosate, including information from other regulators.
In 2016, following the IARC assessment, the APVMA considered glyphosate and found no grounds to place it under formal reconsideration again. The APVMA completed a review of glyphosate in 1997, which set Australia’s health based guidance values at a level that remains protective. Different labels have different purposes. More information on how to read a label can be found on our website.”
The safe use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals requires following the label instructions.
All chemical products have instructions for safety and use on the label. The labels are there for your safety and provide practical information on how to use each product. Always read the label instructions and use only as directed.
Products containing glyphosate are safe to use in areas which will be later used by people and animals provided the label instructions are followed. The label instructions will tell you how long people or animals should avoid an area that has been treated—always follow these instructions.
We will be monitoring legal developments in relation to glyphosate to ensure that our clients take all appropriate measures to limit their liability.
If you require any advice concerning the subject of this article, contact us on + 61 8 9921 6040 or email email@example.com.