Home' Grower : July 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- July 2010
parts. Part 1 considers the active
constituent fenthion and products that are
used in non-food producing situations,
while Part 2 considers the products used
on food-producing plants and animals.
In December 2005, the APVMA released
the Fenthion Preliminary Review Findings
Report: Part 1, in which it found safety
information on product labels was
inadequate, and that there was a potential
health risk from some application methods
and from concentrated home garden
The APVMA also found that the use of
fenthion bird control products posed a
potential risk to non-target birds.
To reduce the risk to users and the
environment, the APVMA proposed
cancelling a home garden product and
varying the labels of other products used in
non-food producing situations.
Part 2 is still in the assessment stage after
which a Preliminary Review Findings
report will be released.
The APVMA began a review of
dimethoate in 2004. This review is now in
the assessment stage.
The chemical has been brought into
question long before this however.
The dreaded fruit fly, a headache for most fruit and vegetable producers.
If dimethoate and fenthion are banned and all else fails, some jokingly suggest fly swats may be
the only answer.
No legislation for review timeframe
Where are the viable alternatives?
AT the National Low Chill Stonefruit
Conference in Ballina in April, APVMA
evaluator - chemical review Robyn Schipp
provided an update of the chemical reviews.
Ms Schipp did not give away details on the
review proceedings for either chemical but
admitted "it doesn't look good".
Growers raised concerns about the lack of
alternatives to the chemicals and where a
product suspension would leave them.
Since the beginning of the reviews,
horticultural industries through Horticulture
Australia Limited (HAL) have worked in
conjunction with State Government agencies
and the APVMA to fund additional research
on dimethoate and fenthion and to find
alternative treatment regimes, such as
The Department of Agriculture, Food and
Forestry (DAFF) has initiated a series of
workshops based on a systems approach,
the most recent of which happened in May
At this stage, the Department is not
providing reports from the meetings to the
A systems approach uses a number of
measures together to mitigate the plant
According to a draft document from the
Western Australian Department of
Agriculture and Food, a guidebook of
alternative treatments is also being
prepared and may be circulated as early as
this month or July.
The APVMA swings considerable weight if
Earlier this year, manufacturers of the
agricultural chemical, quintozene initiated a
voluntary recall following the APVMA's
suspension of all quintozene products in
The voluntary recall was aimed at retail
suppliers to remove all suspended
quintozene products from sale.
Quintozene was suspended by the
following detection of dioxin impurities in
some batches of quintozene products. It
cannot be supplied in Australia until further
Concerns raised about 'toxicity'
ACCORDING to the APVMA website, the National
Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee
considered dimethoate on a number of
"In 1983 the NDPSC recommended withdrawal
of the registration of dimethoate dust
formulations due to potential risks of exposure,"
"In 1988 the NDPSC reviewed dimethoate and
noted the moderate to high acute toxicity of
dimethoate, and its potential to cause adverse
reproductive, developmental, carcinogenic and
mutagenic results in rats and mice.
"The NDPSC further considered dimethoate in
1990, 1992 and 1993, with respect to safety
directions on labels.
"Dimethoate was nominated for review in May
1995 as part of the Existing Chemicals Review
Program (ECRP) which was established to
systematically review a number of Agvet
chemicals which have been on the Australian
market for some time.
"Dimethoate was nominated because of
concerns over toxicology, occupational health
and safety, residues and trade.
"This action was based on advice from the
Office of Chemical Safety that dimethoate may
pose an undue hazard to public health under
current regulatory standards and should be re-
evaluated using contemporary data and
THERE is no legislated time frame for the
release of the chemical reviews.
The period for public comments and the
submission of additional information closed
on July 2, 2004.
The assessment continues until the APVMA
is satisfied with the regulatory findings.
An APVMA spokesperson said unless there
are further developments or new
information to consider it is likely that the
Preliminary Review Findings for the two
reviews will be released as soon as the
additional residues data has been assessed
"This is likely to happen in 2010," he said.
"Once public and stakeholder comments
on these documents have been considered,
then the APVMA will finalise these reviews."
APVMA final report
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