وصلت الحرب العالمية على الغليفوسات في أستراليا.

وسائل الاعلام لدينا تم تتابع عن كثب التغطية الإعلامية للقضايا المحاكم الاخيرة في الولايات المتحدة, in which plaintiffs have received multi-million dollar awards in their lawsuits against the maker of the worlds most widely-used crop-protection productand in defiance of what the science actually tells us about the safety of this agricultural tool.

Much is at stake. If these attacks on glyphosate continue and access to this effective tool is taken away, the cost of food will rise, and our environment will suffer.

As a farmer who has used glyphosate for nearly four decades in the Wimmera region of the state of Victoria, I know all about this product from long experience. (I wrote about it last year.)

Im confident that glyphosate poses no threat to human healthand Im supported on this by regulatory agencies around the world, from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to the European Food Safety Authority to the الامريكى. Environmental Protection Agency.

Australians, Europeans, and Americans may disagree about the best sport (which is AFL), the best beer (which is Crown Lager), and the best hemisphere (the southern one). On the question of glyphosate, ومع ذلك, our scientists speak with one voice: This herbicide is safe.

In August, الولايات المتحدة. EPA went even further with a special announcement: The EPA will no longer approve product labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancera false claim that does not meet the labeling requirements of U.S. القانون. (See also this excellent editorial on the matter.)

This was a powerful reminder that the scientific consensus is overwhelmingly in the favor of glyphosates safety. The only major objection has come from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an advisory body that has called glyphosate probably carcinogenic.

Yet this is suspect. The IARC has warned about the cancer-causing effects of caffeine and working at nightconclusions that no serious person has accepted. Its glyphosate analysis in particular has faced substantial criticism. Forbes magazine even called it Glyphosate-gate, playing off the American habit of adding -gate to every scandal.

I dont work in the labs with the scientists and regulators who study glyphosate, but I do work in the fields with this herbicide. If farmers like me were to lose access to this crop-protection product, two things would happen.

First, wed have a lot more weeds to deal with, which would rob resources from fewer cropsand the price of food for everyone, including people who struggle to feed their families, would rise.

Second, wed most likely have to revert to the pasts full cultivation practices that are less effective in managing weeds, diminish our work to produce more with less rainfall and ultimately increase our carbon footprint: In the end, wed burn more fuel (creating new greenhouse gases) and till the land (leading to increased soil erosion).

It gets worse. Banning glyphosate would deliver a blow to regulatory frameworks based on factual analysis. The crop-protection deniers, in fact, look a lot like the climate deniers: They are an outspoken minority that rejects what the science really tells us about the world we live in.

Just a few weeks ago, the television newsmagazine 60 Minutes Australia featured a segment called The Spray, hosted by Liam Bartlett. He claimed that a new storm is emerging over glyphosateand said that the controversial lawsuits from the United States are now migrating to Australia.

The show made a fetish of a single question: Would you drink glyphosate? Bartlett implied that if farmers and others arent willing to drink a glass of the stuff, then obviously they know, deep down inside, that its unhealthyand that regulators should jump in with a total ban.

What nonsense! We all use lots of safe products that we wouldnt drink, from the soap we use to wash our hands to the petrol we pump into our vehicles.

Nobody should drink glyphosate. Its not made for that. Its made for the control of weeds, from gardens in suburban backyards to farms like mineand its totally safe, when put to its proper purpose.

Farming in a modern society will always have some level of scrutiny attached to it and at any time in Australia or overseas, farmers are continually faced with the potential for political or social-imposed intervention in farming choices.

I find myself frustrated when I hear how people do not accept the science on chemical usage and the lack of understanding around the strong regulatory system that underpins the registration process of medicines and chemicals.

In this case, the crop-protection deniers are selling us fantasy not science. If they succeed, their bad ideas will hurt us all.