Fenthion inquiry failure

Such restrictive action to protect public health was taken by the EU, US, Canada and New Zealand more than a decade ago based on the same science.

Industry has often argued that overseas assessment data should be relied upon to save Australian regulatory costs to industry but in this case, when the regulatory action does not suit it, the industry cries foul.

The real question is why have Australian children been exposed to unsafe levels of fenthion for all these years already? What impact could this have had on their health?

Should the proposed phase-out be approved, how will the APVMA and industry ensure that WA children are not exposed to unsafe levels of fenthion residues?

It is a gross failure of the Senate inquiry not to have addressed this issue, leaving a huge question mark over the safety of WA fruit sprayed with this insecticide.

There is no doubt the Senate inquiry report is a depressing read. The report documents the details of the regulatory failure caused by Australian industry’s recalcitrant behaviour and its failure to provide the APVMA with the critical exposure data needed for public health assessments.

The Hills Orchard Improvement Group can continue to defend the indefensible and try to dismantle our scientific regulatory authority in the process.

However, this push to continue the use of a dangerous insecticide on our food at a time when we face increasing incidences of childhood cancers and life-threatening chronic diseases, allergies and sensitivities is the height of stupidity.

JANE BREMMER,

Alliance for a Clean Environment Inc