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Government easing constraints to agricultural innovations

13 August 2015

Government easing constraints to agricultural innovations

Agcarm commends the government for tabling a Bill to improve access to the latest innovations in veterinary medicines and agrichemicals, helping New Zealand agriculture to remain competitive.

Agcarm chief executive, Mark Ross says “We applaud the government for supporting primary production, by encouraging the registration of new products from overseas and new uses for existing products.

“This means New Zealand can remain competitive in a global market,” he added.

Greater protection provides more incentive to bring new technologies into New Zealand. Often these technologies are safer and more effective forms of chemical or biological compounds, or new ways for existing products to be used.

“Our industry welcomes the introduction of the Bill to provide additional protection to products. We want 10 years protection for innovative substances, new uses, reformulations and reassessments.

“This will place us on level playing field with our trading competitors,” says Ross.

Developing new technology is expensive due to the cost of assembling thousands of pages of data proving that a product works, is safe for people and the environment, and residues in produce are well within acceptable limits.

Manufacturers need to provide this information in order to get approval from two regulators: the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Environmental Protection Authority.

The data package supplied in support of an application represents a significant investment – costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to assemble. Often this data is not protected from competitors.

Improved data protection will allow farmers and growers to have access to more products, because there will be an incentive for suppliers and manufacturers to invest in them.

Agcarm values the work that the Minister for Food Safety, Jo Goodhew, has done to advance this Bill. We look forward to working with the Minister to get this Bill right.


ENDS

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