AGENT ORANGE - Background Information and Research Links

RESPONSE TO FOUR CORNERS

Read two letters from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) written in response to Four Corners' testing of the weed killer Aminoz 625.
Questions answered by APVMA. [PDF 450Kb]

Letter from the APVMA in response to the test run by Four Corners.
[PDF 240Kb]

Response Sanonda Australia Jul 2013 -
Read the response from the chemical company Sanonda Australia from whom Four Corners purchased the weedkiller 'Aminoz 625'. [PDF 84Kb]

Information from the Victorian Department of Environment Jul 2013 - Background on the Yarram drums and chemicals in Victoria. [PDF 40Kb]

KEY REPORTS AND DOCUMENTS

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 - Information on and submissions to the Senate Committee Inquiry can be found here.

Preliminary Review Findings (Environment) Part 1: 2,4-D Esters APVMA Apr 2006 - The APVMA's first report on 2,4-D Esters. [PDF 755Kb]

Annex to Preliminary Review Findings (Environment) Part 1: 2,4-D Esters APVMA Jul 2013 - The APVMA follow up on 2,4-D Esters. [PDF 1.35Kb]

Impurities in Pesticides: A Neglected Source of Contemporary Relevance 2012 - Study on impurities by Associate Professor Caroline Gaus - National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (UQ). [PDF 1.75Kb]

Agricultural (Pesticides) Product Sales for 2011-12 Financial Year
The APVMA Gazette 12 Feb 2013 - See page 18 of Gazette No. 3 for pesticides sales information provided to the APVMA. [PDF 805kb]
Chemicals and Plastics Regulation: 'Regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemical products' Productivity Commission Aug 2008 - Chapter 8 of the Productivity Commission report. [PDF 112 Kb]

Overview of the toxic effects of 2,4-D Sierra Club Jan 2005 - Despite industry efforts claiming the safety of this chemical, there is a large body of evidence indicating major health effects, from cancer to immunosuppression, reproductive damage to neurotoxicity. This paper aims to provide an overview of the scientific body of evidence demonstrating the toxic effects of 2,4-D. [PDF 40Kb]

Short Report of the Expert Medical Panel to Evaluate Recommendations of The Kimberley Chemical Use Review Feb 2004 - The Panel asked for an independent and thorough review of all the scientific research available about the human health effects of 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D and TCDD, including symptoms, illness and death. Read the Panel's findings. [PDF 60Kb]

IUPAC Technical Report International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry 2003 - Significance of impurities in the safety evaluation of crop protection products. [PDF 485kB]

Literature Review on the Human health effects associated with exposure to the herbicides 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, and dioxins WA Dept of Health Aug 2003 - Final report by Professor Gaus, et al. [PDF 1.5Mb] RELATED NEWS AND MEDIA

Four Corners investigation finds dangerous dioxins in widely used herbicide 24D ABC News 22 Jul 2013 - An urgent review is underway after a Four Corners investigation found elevated levels of dangerous dioxins in a generic version of 24D, one of Australia's most widely used herbicides.

Agent Orange used as herbicide throughout the Kimberley The Stringer 15 Mar 2013 - ...Cyril Hunter, died in 1983 from exposure to Agent Orange, the toxic chemical used en masse during the Vietnam War. Mr Hunter had been employed to spray Agent Orange as a herbicide throughout the Kimberley.

USDA says more review needed for new Monsanto, Dow GMO crops Reuters 10 May 2013 - The (US) Department of Agriculture said Friday it will extend its scrutiny of controversial proposed biotech crops developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, and Monsanto Co. after receiving an onslaught of opposition to the companies' plans.

MEDIA RELEASE: Action needed on importation and trade of illegal agricultural chemicals CropLife 27 Sep 2011 -Illegal pesticides endanger agriculture, human health, the environment and the economy. The global trade in illegal and fake pesticides is growing and Australia is at risk. [PDF 70Kb]

Transcript: Dr Andrew Harper Perspective: Radio National Sep 2004 - Today the Fitzroy Valley and the Ord Valley in the Kimberley are quarantined for recreational use due to weeds such as Parkinson and Noogoora Burr. These same weeds were the focus of a chemical weed eradication program in the 1970's and 1980's. The difference s between now and then are that most of the kangaroos have gone, parts of the river are no longer open for fishing, many of the workers who sprayed the weeds have died, numbers of sprayers are unwell and many Kimberley families feel they have been used and abused through the herbicide spraying program.

Transcript: Agent Orange herbicide compensation decision 7.30 Report Feb 2004 - It's most notably associated with the Vietnam War, but a herbicide used in the highly toxic chemical cocktail Agent Orange was still being used in Australia as late as the 1980s. Report by Kerry O'Brien.

BACKGROUND READING

Fact Sheet: What are dioxins? CropLife Australia - Read some facts about dioxins. [PDF 130Kb]

National Residue Survey Dept. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - The National Residue Survey conducts tests on some of Australia's food - but not all - and doesn't test for all chemicals. There are three Australian standards for residues - maximum residue limits (MRLS), extraneous residue limits (ERLs) and maximum levels (MLs). The residue limits for some products may differ across countries because of "climate, geography, pests, diseases and products". Read more.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants - The Convention is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). It came into force on 17 May 2004, with Australia ratifying the Convention on 20 May 2004.

National Dioxins Program Dept of Environment - The Australian Government announced the four year National Dioxins Program in 2001 to reduce dioxins and dioxin-like substances in the environment. A priority for the program was to improve our knowledge about dioxin levels in Australia.

A national strategy for weed management in Australia Australian Weeds Committee 2007 - The Australian Weeds Strategy is a vital part of Australia's integrated approach to national biosecurity, and complements other existing and new national strategies. [PDF 2Mb]

What is 2,4-D? Frequently Asked Questions as answered by the 2,4-D Industry Task Force.

LINKS

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is an Australian government authority responsible for the assessment and registration of pesticides and veterinary medicines. www.apvma.gov.au/

CropLife
Australia is the peak industry organisation representing the agricultural chemical and biotechnology (plant science) sector in Australia. www.croplifeaustralia.org.au/

Food Standards Australia New Zealand - Food Standards sets safe levels for pesticides/impurities in food.

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) is the peak national body representing farmers and agriculture across Australia. www.nff.org.au/

The National Toxics Network (NTN) is a community based network working to ensure a toxic-free future for all. NTN was formed in 1993 and has grown as a national network giving a voice to community and environmental organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. www.ntn.org.au/

The 2,4-D Task Force - The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data was established by major chemical companies to address the regulatory data requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency. www.24d.org/