A CONTROVERSIAL Federal bill affecting agriculture and veterinary chemicals will be scrutinised by parliament.
The House of Representative Agriculture Committee today announced it would inquire into the Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.
The committee will look at a number of areas in the bill including the initial assessment and registration process and re-approval and re-registration.
The committee will also look at international comparisons and trade issues, including the effect on small companies and the consultation process.
The bill aims to improve the efficiencyand effectiveness of the current regulations.
However, the bill has been controversial with the Victorian Farmers Federation warning it risked wiping many valuable rural chemicals off the Australian market.
The VFF said the current bill will force chemical companies to re-register their products every seven to 15 years.
VFF president Peter Tuohey said some agri-chemical companies would withdraw their products from Australia rather than paying re-registration costs.
“During the drafting of the Bill, the VFF lodged two submissions vehemently opposing re-registration, but the government hasn’t listened.
The VFF submission says the Bill says the changes will align Australia with similar US and European Union standards, " but this argument fails to recognise the high cost of re-registration on a much smaller Australian market."
"CropLife Australia estimates the cost of re-registration at $100,000 to $500,000.
"The VFF calls on the Federal Government to abandon the mandatory re-registration proposal from the bill and simply retain the current triggers for chemical reviews – health and environmental concerns."
Submissions to the inquiry are due by Friday January 18.