Malathion proposed regulatory decision

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has published the proposed regulatory decision (proposed decision) for the reconsideration of malathion (also known as maldison), an insecticide used for the control of pests in various broadacre and horticultural crops, vegetables, ornamental plants and for veterinary and domestic uses.

The APVMA is proposing to:

  1. retain malathion as an insecticide and acaricide for use in domestic, agricultural and veterinary situations
  2. vary and affirm the active constituent approvals to:
    • vary the name of the active constituent from ‘maldison’ to ‘malathion’
    • amend the current APVMA standard for the active constituent in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Agricultural Active Constituents) Standards 2022 to include additional impurities of toxicological concern
    • confirm that current malathion approvals comply with the amended standard for malathion update the Record for approved malathion active constituents to reflect the changes to the name of the active constituent and changes in the standard
  3. vary and affirm the product registrations and label approvals to:
    • remove uses to control mosquito larvae to reduce the risk to aquatic environments
    • establish a standard for malathion products
    • include additional environmental protection statements on product labels
    • restrict the shelf life of currently registered malathion products to 2 years to reduce the risk of products exceeding acceptable levels of break down impurities
    • update safety directions
    • include additional restraints on some product labels
    • include the addition of environmental protection statements
    • limit the maximum applications per season to 4, unless already specified on current labels, except for fruit fly control, stored cereal grain, bowling and golf greens and ornamentals
    • include spray drift restraints and no-spray buffer zones
    • vary some withholding periods and re-entry intervals
    • update the current disposal instructions to meet contemporary standards restrict application by aerial methods to use only closed mixing and loading
    • restrict applications by airblast methodology to application using closed cabs to reduce the risk of exposure to workers
    • include Maximum Residue Level (MRL) entries in Table 4 of the Australian MRL standard for pastures, forage crops, orange pulp and grape pomace to cover current uses on pasture or other forage crops
    • remove application of malathion products by backpack ULV or backpack foggers
    • delete application of malathion by ULV by aircraft above specific application rates as acceptable mandatory no-spray buffer zones protective of sensitive areas (natural aquatic areas, pollinators, livestock and human health) could not be established
    • vary the directions for use for certain veterinary products to clarify how the product are to be used
    • add appropriate storage conditions for agricultural products
    • remove state-based restrictions on use patterns where the removal can be supported.

Public consultation on the proposed decision is open for 3 months and will close 23 February 2023. The Special Gazette 22 November 2022 includes more information about the proposed decision and how to make a submission.

Enquiries about the proposed decision or the public consultation can be directed to

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