The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has proposed to suspend the registration and labels of chemical products containing dimethoate used as a post-harvest dip for tropical and sub-tropical fruit with inedible peel.
The APVMA has received reports indicating that the maximum permitted level of pesticide residue (the maximum residue limit or MRL) for dimethoate, and its main degradation product omethoate, has been exceeded in avocados and mangos. The information available to the APVMA shows the MRL exceedance is likely due to the use of dimethoate in accordance with the approved instructions for use as a post-harvest dip.
The APVMA considers the level of residues detected are unlikely to pose a significant risk to human health but has proposed suspension of these specific dimethoate products as a precautionary measure.
The APVMA remains satisfied that all other approved uses of dimethoate are safe.
If dimethoate products are suspended as proposed, the APVMA will provide instructions for use in a deemed permit that will be valid for 12 months. These instructions will allow the continued use of dimethoate but will prohibit use of dimethoate as a post-harvest dip on tropical and sub-tropical fruit.
The APVMA is also proposing to take action on Permit 87164, held by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd, to remove the use of dimethoate as a flood spray for post-harvest assorted tropical and sub-tropical fruits – inedible peel (crop group 006). The permitted use of dimethoate on citrus fruit with inedible peel remains acceptable.
Holders of dimethoate registrations and other relevant stakeholders have been given 2 weeks to provide any information that would demonstrate why the products should not be suspended. Members of the public are also invited to comment on the proposed suspension. Comments should be related to the reasons for the proposed suspension and must be submitted to the APVMA by 29 August 2023.
Registered chemical products containing dimethoate can continue to be used during the consultation period, in accordance with the approved label instructions.
The APVMA will consider all submissions before making a final decision.