Ban Lethal Herbicide Near Great Barrier Reef

  • By: Judith B.
  • Target: Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority


The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority decided to allow the continued use of Diuron. The herbicide is still just as dangerous and the reef is still at risk. This could be the last straw. Tell the APVMA to rethink this highly destructive decision.

The Australian Government has just lifted a temporary ban on a common, and extremely dangerous, weedkiller used throughout Queensland, mainly by sugarcane farmers. The herbicide Diuron has been found at hazardous levels in the creeks and rivers leading to Australia's iconic reef, and in the reef itself. Rather than disintegrating after use, diuron lasts for a very long time, and quickly washes into waterways leading to the ocean.

The use of Diuron is already heavily restricted in several countries because of its risks. It is lethal to aquatic vegetation; in particular the sea grasses that dugongs and turtles feed on. It is also toxic to other life, including corals, and does not disintegrate for more than a year.

Tell the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority that protecting a fragile and irreplaceable ecosystem should come before making things slightly easier for sugarcane farmers. The ban must be reinstated, and this time made permanent.

We the undersigned ask that you reinstate the ban on the use of the herbicide Diuron. This is a notoriously toxic herbicide, potentially lethal to aquatic vegetation and animals, including sea grasses and corals. It has now been found in the reef at levels 100 times what is considered safe. The Great Barrier Reef is an irreplaceable ecosystem, which brings countless tourists to the area.

Rather than legislating in favour of convenience for sugarcane farmers, Australia needs to protect one of its most vital ecosystems from a dangerous and unnecessary chemical. Reduced or seasonal application is not enough due to diuron's longevity and toxicity. We request that you introduce a permanent ban on the use of this hazardous substance.

Thank you for your attention.

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