The Agriculture Amendment Bill 2022 does not outlaw people from growing their own food, but focuses on potential biosecurity issues.
After the Victoria parliament passed an Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill on May 5, 2022, much speculation circulated among social media users. This includes a 2-3 minute-long Twitter video in which American podcaster Joe Rogan claims that the proposed law in Australia prohibits people from growing their own food. Although near the end of the video clip, he says it might be fake news, he talks about how the country is trying to control its people for the most part. The post has garnered over 23,000 likes and shared more than 1,500 times. Indeed, the claim is false.
The draft bill, available on the Victorian government’s website, aims to amend 11 different agricultural acts to address biodiversity, chemical use, veterinary practice, and food safety measures. However, the legislation does not reference stopping people from growing their own food.
Instead, the bill allows authorized officers to enter land for inspection purposes, such as investigating the source of chemical contamination and “help safeguard food security, food safety and access to export markets.”
On May 12, Victoria’s agricultural department released a factsheet addressing misinformation raised on social media about aspects of this bill. It has clearly noted that “The amendments will not result in the destruction of crops, nor will they prevent people growing their own food.”
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has stated that “Misinformation about the Bill suggests the authorized officers will be able to undertake searches without a warrant, without landholder consent and without the requirement to present identification. The VFF believes this misrepresents and misinterprets the amendments set out in the bill.”