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22/01/2009

Celebration over European toxics ban

BFA Media Release, 21st January, 2009

The organic industry and European communities are celebrating the decision of the European Parliament (EU) to adopt legislation that bans the use of 22 toxic substances, including carcinogenic, reprotoxic, genotoxic, endocrine-disrupting and immunotoxic chemicals.*

The ban has been put forward to help stop the continuous environmental damage and health risks that certain chemicals inflict.

The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) says that the ban is a rewarding development; organic farming has a well-established record of high quality and increasingly high yielding food production yet does not allow the use of harmful chemicals.

“BFA would further support any prohibition of potentially toxic farm chemicals on Australian shores,” says Holly Vyner, BFA manager.

Jo Immig, the Coordinator and President of the National Toxics Network says that the stand taken by the EU in relation to removing dangerous pesticides is to be applauded.

“Finally governments are beginning to understand that the widespread use of toxic pesticides is having serious impacts on public health and the environment.

“Thankfully, organic farmers all over the world have shown that abundant food can be produced without the use of toxic pesticides, which is a win for the farmer, the community and the environment,” says Jo.

Shane Heaton, BFA Nutrition Spokesperson, says that banning the use of the harmful pesticides, should result in a beneficial impact on human health.

“Many pesticides have been linked to various cancers, with pesticide residues being known to seep into ground water and people living around these waterways suffering greater degrees of cancer.

“Choosing organic food gives consumers the benefit of having chemical- free food, whilst providing public health and occupation benefits to farms,” says Shane.

*carcinogenic — potentially cancerous; reprotoxic — harmful to human reproduction; genotoxic — harmful to genes; endocrine-disrupting — adversely impacting hormone production; immuntoxic — attacking the nerves or the immune system.

(http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/story_page/066–45730–012–01–03–911–20090108STO45590–2009–12–01–2009/default_en.htm)

ENDS

Media Contact:

Shane Heaton Ph: 0408 220 055

National Toxic Network: (02) 66871 900

BFA Media Department Ph: (07) 3350 5716 ext. 232

To obtain images or find out contact details for organic farmers in your area contact the BFA media office, ph: (07) 3350 5716 ext. 232; email

The BFA has a vision for organic industry growth and education in Australia. Ask about your copy of the Australian Organic Market Report to see how the organic industry is achieving its goals! More information is available at http://www.bfa.com.au/index.asp?Sec_ID=260

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